Thoughts on "Talavera Moderna" and Mexico

Talavera Moderna

Talavera Moderna

I learned that Mexican art is often heavily laden with symbols, and this photograph was taken outside a furniture store in Puebla bearing that in mind (though, as with nearly all my photos, I touched nothing and photographed what already was there as it lay). The tiles I see as a nod to Puebla’s famous talavera tiles, but it’s partially blocked by two blank tiles, which I see as Mexico’s future that is yet to be determined, but will inevitably be propped up by its past. Mexico as I viewed it is a place that is ever connected with its own history. The bright orange background also was symmetric with the orange I saw in talavera works while in Puebla.

The centerpiece has an unfinished look, but is beautiful nonetheless. There is a heavily mathematical feel to it, which is something that was very integral to the societies of this land since ancient times. There is also dimension of height to it, which is another element I observed in central Mexico. Not from skyscrapers so much as from the land. Where in the States there is a habit of flattening the landscape, in Mexico little changes in height and elevation felt more integrated.

Then in the left of the frame, the hand truck symbolizes the hard work I saw all over the country, especially with regards to construction. Almost every building under construction had multiple people working hard on it, and at all hours of the day and even into the night. The hand truck also seems to mirror this stance as they worked - stoic and tireless.

In the right of the frame is a large shadow, and in that shadow a stack of paints from a well-known U.S. company. It mirrors what I observed in larger cities in Mexico - the presence of big international business, predominantly from the U.S. Their existence was scattered but jarring - signage that didn’t make sense or blend in with the surroundings, despite their best efforts. It was somewhat comical, big box stores and fast food restaurants peppered here and there with their tacky and loud marketing fingerprints abound. Yet it made me worry as to how long Mexico would be able to remain itself as these companies continued to search for a foothold and to spread their homogeneous influence like a cloaked predator pushing in from the shadows.

E.E. Norris2 Comments