Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Murals in Downtown Denver

As I mentioned in my last post, Denver has incredible art.  You just have to be adventuresome to discover some of the murals, especially in LoDo.  Drive down some alleys.  That is exactly what we did the other day after lunch.
I was amazed on the number of murals and the talent!  Unfortunately I do not know anything about the artist.
We zig-zaged back and forth on Larimar Street and Lawrence Street and kept heading north.
Being in the alleys, sometimes it is hard to really get a good perspective of the art.
Love the colors.

Looks like a Chinese kite to me.
The next few murals were in a parking lot.

Great composition.

The art pretty much says it all.

Since I shot these photos,  I am sure there are even  more to be found!  Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Denver has some great public art!

The public art in downtown Denver is exceptional.  There is always something new popping up, a sculpture or a mural. 
One of my favorite sculptures is Indeteminate Line by Bernar Venet.  This steel sculpture was installed in 2004 at the corner of Speer Boulevard and Stout Street, right in front of the Colorado Convention Center.  I like the contrast of the twisted steel against the linear lines of the convention center. To create the perfect rust, Venet used COR-TEN steel on the surface of the art piece. Indeterminate Line was manufactured in Hungry and shipped over to Denver in pieces.
Around the corner and a few blocks away is the great blue bear, I See What You Mean by Lawrence Argent. Argent was born in England and trained in sculpture at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.  Currently he is a professor of art at the University of Denver.
On 14th Street, the 40 foot Blue Bear is looking into the Convention Center.  The surface is coated in a lapis lazuli blue, polymer concrete.  It is so popular, it has become a Mile High Icon. 
Lau Tzu by Mark de Suvero is in Acoma Plaza which is located between the Denver Public Library and the Denver Art Museum's North Building.  I particularly like the color the  sculpture is painted.  The Lau Tzu is 30 feet tall and is made of 16 tons of industrial I-beams.
I have a fond memory of taking this photo of my brother, Carter and my parents in front of the Suvero sculpture years ago.  It was Christmas time and we had just dined at Palettes, the museum's restaurant.
The bronze sculpture, Scottish Angus Cow and Calf by Dan Ostermiller sits on the south side of the Denver Art Museums' Hamilton Building.
Ostermiller understands the anatomy of animals quite well for he worked with his father who was a taxidermist.   He is more interested in representing the mood and personality of the animal rather than dwell on the exact proportions.
Another favorite of mine is the 32 foot blue aluminum sculpture by Joe Shapiro that stands amongst the trees between the Clyfford Still Museum and the Denver Art Museum.  Shapiro is known for his dynamic sculptures composed of simple rectangular shapes.  Titled For Jennifer, it is in honor of Jennifer Moulton, director of planning and development for the City and County of Denver from 1992 - 2003 who died in 2004.  
Once the weather gets a bit warmer and the bike paths are void of snow,  I will be on the lookout for new murals and art.  What a great city!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Magnificent murals in Queretaro!

Recently I was over in Queretaro, an hour drive from San Miguel de Allende.  The Plaza de Armas was beautifully landscaped and maintained. 
Also known as the Plaza de Independencia.  I loved the fountain in the center of the plaza with the four stone dogs.  
Just at the north end of the plaza, sits the former home of Dona Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez and her husband Corregidor (Mayor) Don Miguel Dominguez.  Her husband became suspicious of her of being a trader and locked her in her bedroom.  She caught the attention of a loyal servant, Ignacio Perez, by tapping her heel of her shoe persistently on the floor.  She whispered her instructions through the keyhole of the locked door.  Perez alerted Juan de Aldama who then made his way to the near by town, Dolores, where he found Father Miguel Hidalgo and Ignacio Allende.  This was the beginning of the War of Independence. 

How fitting that this structure is now the Palacio del Gobierno and it now houses three magnificent murals by Victor Caudura Rojos depicting the story of the struggle for Independence.  The figures in the center, from left to right, are:  Guadalupe Victoria, Ignacio Allende, Miguel Dominguez, Miguel Hidalgo, Josepha Ortiz de Dominguez, Jose Maria Morelos and Vicente Guerro.   On the horse in the lower right hand corner is Augustin de Iturbide.  
It was in this same building where the message was sent to start the fight for independence.
The breaking of the chains and the eagle signifies the birth of a nation.
Victor Caudura Rojos painted with oils on slabs of red travertine marble.
You will find Maximilian of Haspburg and Carlotta, center, left. And notice in the center panel, the Masonic eye.  Even though there are several panels, your eye automatically completes the mural as one large panel.
The village people who faced the Royalist army were willing to fight and die for the cause.
The execution of Maximilian and his two generals, Miramon and Mejia. 
It was Venustiano Madero who opposed the system and started the revolution and Francisco Madero, the lawman, ending the revolution with the signing of the constitution.  Emiliano Zapata is to the right, the Revolutionary hero, with his slogan "Land and Liberty."
Art is an universal language - translated through the murals, the history of Mexico, beyond any language.
Queretaro was, has been and will be, part of that history of decisive events that shaped the country.

For more on the artist:

Victor Cauduro Rojas