A day in Orgiva. The weather gods had forecast rain and cold 14°C, but the sun shines and it is warm. I jump off my friends big red friendly car and fall right into the open arms of José.

We sit down and have a coffee. José is a painter from Mexico and is especially interested in the native Mexican “autóctono” symbols, myths, art and traditions. After two years of University he decided that academic painting was just not his thing and returned to his root, the Nayarit soil. He spent three years living with Aztec tribes Cora and Huichol and absorbed everything about their way of life.

His ever-returning theme is germination. Germination in all its meanings with all its vital colours. José’s drawings just radiate with pink, orange, purple and all shades of fertility. His colours are rich, the shapes simple. There is no deep intellectual truth hidden in them you just feel the pictures. Just feel.

As a child he was fascinated by he colours of the crop and he fertility of the earth. He knew he wanted to work with this. But how? One day, he was a still a young boy, the train passed through his village. It was the early sixties and hippies had just begun to travel Mexico. And on the very last car sat one of them. He must have been an artist, and when the train passed, a bunch of loose drawings flew off the train and twirled freely trough the air. The train passed, grew smaller and smaller, the wind died down, the papers came swinging to the ground, one by one. José picked one up. It was -he didn’t know the name then- some psychedelic drawing and it rather impressed him. “That’s what I am going to do.” He said with the paper in his hand, “I am going to be a painter!”

And now he IS a painter, sitting in front of me in a café in Orgiva, on a warm (almost) spring day, smiling and full of life. He is a special man and he is an expert. I am happy to have found him. And although I may not have an immediate idea how to help him in his mission, we both agree we want to work together.

Advertisements