“Mexico City”

“Mexico City”, by Robert Leedy, 2002, acrylic on canvas ,48 1/2″ x 48 1/2″, collection of Mr. & Mrs. William D. Thomas
“Mexico City”
by Robert Leedy, 2002
acrylic on canvas
48 1/2″ x 48 1/2″
from the collection of Mr. & Mrs. William D. Thomas, New York, New York

I traveled to Mexico City for the first time in 1998. Contrary to the negative press it always seems to get, I thoroughly enjoyed the city. If you can get past the stories of pollution and crime, you’ll find a colorful, vibrant city full of friendly people, wonderful food and a place loaded with history & culture.

I was blown away by the concentration of quality museums and equally impressed by the historic architecture – both Indian & Colonial. The city is made up of layers built upon layers and I was secretly pleased to see the Indian architecture outliving the Spanish architecture.

These historic layers inspired my painting, “Mexico City”. Like layers of torn away posters on a billboard, Mexico City reveals its past through its present. Layers blend together and create a story of their own…

This painting is an abstract interpretation of my initial impressions of the city. I started with loose sketches of ceramic fertility gods I saw in the anthropological museum and painted over them with layers of color and shapes. Nothing is really recognizable other than the distorted cobalt blue & ochre tiles that I seemed to see throughout the city. If I were assigned to re-design the Mexican flag, I would certainly incorporate these colors.

My favorite places in Mexico City: Tamayo Art Museum, National Museum of Anthropology, Frida Kahlo’s House and Diego Rivera’s Studio. I not only enjoyed the Delores Olmedo Museum – I fell in love with the Mexican Hairless Dogs roaming the estate grounds. Oh yes! Mexico City has a National Watercolor Museum!

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