Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's a Long Flight from Mexico City to Baltimore

Mexico City to Baltimore is a long flight.

Six months is a long time for an 18 year old. I was living in an apartment in Mexico City with 2 friends. I was studying at San Carlos - an art school in the heart of Mexico City. I was the only American there, and the only American red-headed hippie chick. I learned Spanish. I had a blast.

Mexican artists are different from American artists. All artist follow a calling to the creative life, a life of ideas and vision. Mexican artists articulate and accept that calling earlier. Of course they are surrounded by the great muralists, Diego Rivera and Siqueiros are everywhere - even in government buildings and in mosaics that cover the outside of building at the state run university. And of course there is Freida Kahlo who painted directly from her heart.

the Creation (1922), in the BolĂ­var Amphitheater at the University of Mexico
For 6 months I'd been hanging out with Latino politicos and intellectuals, American intellectuals and radicals and Mexican artists. It's a heady mix.

It was 1971 and everything was changing in the United States. There was war, there was a yearning for peace and we were learning about something called the Generation Gap...and, the birth control pill had just made its appearance.

Mexico in 1971 was also a place in turmoil, a place where the old ways were being tested, and sometimes with blood. It was also a place that a friend of mine described as "Enough for the most militant surrealist".

I was leaving Mexico to live with my Baltimore boyfriend and to go to art school in Baltimore.

I was looking forward to the reunion, of catching up, telling stories and rolling around a bit. There he was at the airport. The first thing he said was, "We have to talk."