My Thanksgiving holiday was filled with familiar smells, relaxation, and being with my family. It was wonderful to have this precious time...the children did not have much homework nor did they have any dance. We just hung out.
On Saturday I had a once in a lifetime experience. My family and I went to see an art exhibit at the Milwaukee Museum of Art http://mam.org/ The feature exhibition was the work of Martin Ramirez http://www.mam.org/ramirez/. As an artist, I must say next to seeing Picasso's Guernica in Spain, this was the best exhibit I had been to in years. I was so incredibly moved by his work. His history is so sad, but the art he made brought a sort of sanity to his existence. Martin's home was Mexico where he had a wife and 4 children.. He came to America in the 1920s in search of work. For a time he worked on the railroad and then in the fields. Then in 1931 for reasons unknown, he became confused and despondent and was found on a roadside.. He was unable or unwilling to communicate in English so he was committed to a mental hospital. And there he remained for 30 years. Can you imagine, 30 years! To keep patients occupied, nurses and doctors would allow them to color and scribble. While I bet many did not take advantage of that, Martin did. He drew and he drew and he drew with anything he could get his hands on. His substrates included the papers that they used on hospital tables/bed, napkins, paper bags, etc.. His collage work was done using a homemade glue from his saliva and potatoes. He used graphite, crayons, watercolors, pastels to create his drawings. And if you look closely at his work, I swear the guy never erased anything! Tragically, many of his works were lost because the orderlies would throw them out at the end of the day (clutter you know). But many of his works did survive thanks to the psychiatrist that worked with him.
Now that brings me to my found art for this week. The topic was woman and I had planned on something very different. After seeing this exhibit I decided to do something in Martin's style. This is a blatant copy and blend of two of his drawings. There is no originality what so ever, but hopefully I can remedy that. I did a small note card and plan to include a brief explanation of Martin's work and maybe a little about him. I did the drawing in marker and used oil pastels to color. I really can't even begin to say I feel his style. As a native to Mexico, his work drew from his experiences and memories of his homeland, none of which I share. The style of his work is so foreign to me.... Anyway I call this Ode to M.R. and one day I hope to do something a little larger scale that has a little more of me in it. Please take a look at the link above...his work is so worth a look see.