Sunday, September 28, 2014

Museo de Arte Moderno (Museum of Modern Art) - Mexico City

After our visit to the National Anthropology Museum we walked over to the Museum of Modern Art which took us about 10 minutes or so.  The road we were on cuts through a portion of the Chapultepec Park.

In one portion of the park we came across a cactus garden that was part of the botanical garden.  For some reason though, the picture I took looks totally fake and indoors.  But I promise it was real cacti and it was taken outside.

Cacti at Botanical Garden Chapultepec Park Mexico City

I have looked at the picture and looked at it and just can't figure out why it looks so fake.  Maybe it is the rock bed of pebbles or the fact that there are so many different cacti that normally wouldn't be seen together.

Shrug.

Oh well, on to the modern art!

I will save my art rantings for the end of the post and instead start of with the weird things that I liked.  If you want to know the name of the art or who it is by you can hover over the picture or click on it.

First up,  the mustache and beard painting.  I just love that the mustaches are handlebar mustaches AND they are literally being used as handlebars!  My daddy would on occasion grow his mustache in this fashion, so that is probably why I can appreciate this.  Plus, I love that the beards are what is keeping them up and in motion.

Locomocion Capilar by Remedios Varo Museum of Modern Art Mexico City

Can I explain the man in the window and the woman?  No.   Am I going to try and ruin the fun of the painting?  No.

Speaking of beards.

Magus by Leonora Carrington  Museum of Modern Art Mexico City
From afar, ok, yeah, well that is interesting.

Get closer.

Oh man!  There are faces in his beard that share his beard. Ok, this just got much cooler!

Face of Magus by Leonora Carrington  Museum of Modern Art Mexico City

We walked into one room and this was the only thing in that room.

Sphere Sombras del Bosque by Fernando Gonzalez Gortazar  Museum of Modern Art Mexico City

A sphere made of deer antlers!   Reading the description, well trying to as best as possible because they were not in English, I figured out that some of these antlers came from Texas.

Awh, a little piece of home thousands of miles away!  Plus, it is the shape of a sphere and well, that just make my little math heart happy!

Walking into the next room the only lights you see are on the art pieces and it is more geometric antler art!  The lighting made the pictures come out super cool.

There was another sphere but this one was a more dramatic, don't touch me type of sphere.

Sharp Sphere Sombras del Bosque by Fernando Gonzalez Gortazar  Museum of Modern Art Mexico City

Next, there was a cube.

Cube Sombras del Bosque by Fernando Gonzalez Gortazar  Museum of Modern Art Mexico City

But wait!  Walk to one side and BOOM, there, as if it were drilled in the center, is a perfect hole.

Cube Side Sombras del Bosque by Fernando Gonzalez Gortazar  Museum of Modern Art Mexico City

There was one more piece of antler art in the room and I think this one was my favorite.  Not sure why, it just spoke to me.  (And I don't mean in a creepy like, "I see you standing there Jennifer, taking pictures of me, acting like you can't hear me," way.

Cylinder Side Sombras del Bosque by Fernando Gonzalez Gortazar  Museum of Modern Art Mexico City

It was in this museum that I encounter my first Frida Kahlo painting.  At least I think it was my first one, I might be forgetting one.  This one is title "Las Dos Fridas" or "The Two Fridas".

Las Dos Fridas by Frida Kahlo Museum of Modern Art Mexico City

Can I explain it to you?

No.

Do I want to?

No.

All I know is that Frida had some issues....

....but no worse than the issues this next piece caused Frankie and me.

Epitome o Modo Facil de Aprender el Idioma Nahuatl by Laura Anderson Barbata Museum of Modern Art Mexico City

"Oh, that's not so bad," you say.  "Looks like eaten corn on the cob that has been dried out," you say.

LOOK CLOSER, PEOPLE!

Closeup 1 Epitome o Modo Facil de Aprender el Idioma Nahuatl by Laura Anderson Barbata Museum of Modern Art Mexico City

Those are HUMAN TEETH!

Teeth!

From many many people's mouth!

Closeup 2 Epitome o Modo Facil de Aprender el Idioma Nahuatl by Laura Anderson Barbata Museum of Modern Art Mexico City


Maybe those people at one time ate some corn on the cob but that doesn't mean your teeth then get used to make something resembling the corn on the cob you once ate!

That wasn't a rant.  That was just expressing my slight disgust of the fact that those were HUMAN TEETH!!

Ok now, for a little ranting.

This is three blue plastic squares on a yellow wall.  That is it.  Oh sure, one is smaller than the other two, but still.   What you might be seeing on them is just a reflection from something else across the room.

These were blank blue plastic squares.

Ra by Raul Mirlo Museum of Modern Art Mexico City

I mean, how unimportant is your work when it is hung on the wall with thumb tacks.

THUMB TACKS!

Thumbtack holding up Ra by Raul Mirlo Museum of Modern Art Mexico City


So, this lady's "art" was her walking around Juarez, Mexico running her hand along walls and making a video of it.  Now, had she been blind it might have been more dramatic but she wasn't.  So there.



This lady's "art" was her with a piece of chalk in her hand drawing a line around her body and then spinning around as she did it.  

Um.

Ok.



End of rant, let's go outside to the sculpture garden.  I haven't been to a sculpture garden that I didn't like and this one was no exception.  The only thing that disappointed me was that there were no labels.  I have no idea what these are made of, what they are titled, or who they are by.

Here are a few of my favorites, pictures only though, because that's all I have.

Hollow Head Outdoor Garden Sculpture Museum of Modern Art Mexico City


Mother and Child Statue Outdoor Garden Sculpture Museum of Modern Art Mexico City


Boat on Side Outdoor Garden Sculpture Museum of Modern Art Mexico City


In my next few post we will explore the Coyoacan neighborhood of Mexico City.  In this neighborhood there is an artisan market, a huge food market, the Museum of Popular Culture, and the Frida Kahlo Museum.

So I hope you will come back to learn about those!

Until then!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Museo Nacional de Antropologia (National Anthropology Museum) - Mexico City

On our first full day in Mexico City we decided to tackle the #1 ranked attraction on Trip Advisor, the National Anthropology Museum.  But before we did that, we ate breakfast, of course!

We decided to eat at the hotel this time since it was reasonably priced and very very close.  It was a good choice on our part!

Just about everywhere we went to eat breakfast they would put a basket of pan de dulce (sweet bread) in front of us.

Pan de Dulce Mexico City

To Americans, if you didn't ask for it and it is put in front of you and it looks as good as those, you can eat them for free.  This is not the case in Mexico City and of course, we didn't find out until the bill came.  (They were not expensive, but still!)

If you don't eat them, you aren't charged.  If you eat one then you are charged for one.  If you eat the whole basket then you are charged for each one in the basket. (Did you see how good they looked?? AND I didn't do it alone.  Frankie helped!!)

I assume that if you don't eat them then they pick them up and give them to the next person that comes in.  So if a child sits at a table and plays with or licks the bread then they put it back because mommy and daddy don't want to pay......well then...I will let you just think about what happens next.

On to the breakfast that we did order and knew we would have to pay for.  Frankie went with a classic Mexican breakfast of huevos rancheros.

Huevos Rancheros Mexico City

He said they were a little different from what you would get in Texas but that he did enjoy them. I chose to be a little adventurous and ordered some breakfast tacos on corn tortillas that had cheese and pumpkin flowers in them. It was very good! I have had beautiful dreams about those tacos since returning from our trip!

Pumpkin Flowers and Cheese Breakfast Tacos Mexico City

After eating we started walking to the closest metro stop. We were going to be brave and try to ride the Mexico City metro. I had not read many good things about it but then again to be fair, I hadn't read many bad things about it either. Our hotel was not as close to a metro stop as I had hoped so we had a slight trek ahead of us.

We made it there without incident, paid the less than $0.50 per person to ride (which is SOOO super cheap), and squeezed through the turnstile. After that it was a crazy, wild mess! I have never seen so many people crammed into a subway car!

Packed Metro Mexico City


Packed Metro Car Mexico City

Did you happen to notice that both cars in the picture were filled with women only?  I did read that because of rush hour times (which is what we happened to stumble into) when the cars are PACKED that they leave the last few cars for women only so they do not have to put up with groping from men.

We let that overstuffed train pass.  We let the next overstuffed train pass.  We let the next overstuffed train pass and then gave up and started walking to the museum.  We then realized we were walking the wrong direction after what felt like a good fifteen minutes, decided it was well worth it to find a sitio stand, and grabbed a taxi to the museum.

Museum of National Anthropology Mexico City

After the enormous hassle of getting to the museum (ok, it wasn't really that bad, but it is fun to exaggerate) we took a coffee break at the museum and saw a squirrel.  (Hey, I can't help it that I love animals!) Plus, I have never seen one with mixed colors.  It was adorable!  All we have in Texas are these dirt brown squirrels, which are still cute, don't get me wrong, but they are NOT two-toned!

Squirrel Mexico City

Moving on, what is anthropology, for those who don't know?  I was in that category until recently, so let me enlighten you.  According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary online, anthropology is: the study of human beings and their ancestors.  So there you go, this is an entire museum dedicated to the study of the Mexican people's ancestors.  How Mexico came to be what it is today.

With that in mind, I am sure that if I had any connections to Mexico beside it being our next door neighbor, that I might had found all of this much more interesting.  Even if I were more interested in world history, I might have enjoyed this museum more. As it is, lots of the artifacts just started to blend all together to me.  Frankie felt the same way about it.

There were interesting things, but overall, eh.    There were two levels and we went through all the rooms on the bottom floor.  We didn't go to the second floor at all.  Even the people at the information desk hinted around that the second floor wasn't worth seeing.

Let me share some of the highlights and/or things I found interesting.

It is crazy to think that this duck was made of clay way back anywhere from 1200 to 600 BC and is still around for others to see!  Plus, it is just adorable!

Duck Museum of National Anthropology Mexico City

This acrobatic man is more than mere decoration.  It is actually a vase.  The top opening was at one of his knees and then poured out of his mouth.  How cool is that??  It is from the same time frame as the duck and also made of clay.

Acrobat Museum of National Anthropology Mexico City

A death disc, anyone?  This use to be at the Teotihuacan pyramids, which I will blog about at a later date.  I'm not sure if that is suppose to be a tongue sticking out or what, but I like the disc!







Death Disc Teotihuacan Pyriamid of Sun Museum of National Anthropology Mexico City

Apparently the people of Mexico use to worship many different gods.  This is one of them named, Cocijo. He has a nice beard going on, don't you think?

Cocijo God Museum of National Anthropology Mexico City

I LOVED this next one!  It's a pre-historic Day of Dead statue!!  (At least that is what I am calling it.) How cool is that??

Statue of Death Museum of National Anthropology Mexico City

Here is another god.  This one is called Xochipilli, the Prince of Flowers.  I like to call him the hippie god.   Flower Power all the way!

Xochipilli Prince of Flowers Sideview Museum of National Anthropology Mexico City

I love this picture with a jaguar vessel in front and the Stone of the Sun in the Mexica room.  The layout of the museum is nice.  They have done a fabulous job with the arrangement.  Each room is from a certain time period and it is easy to walk around in to view everything.

Mexica Room Museum of National Anthropology Mexico City

I took a close-up of the Stone of the Sun.  This stone is massive!  It is around 12 feet in diameter and said to weigh 24 tons!  The details that were carved into are very impressive!

Close up of Stone of the Sun Mexica Civilization Museum of National Anthropology Mexico City

This last artifact that I liked from the museum is a warrior mask.  What I really liked though were there colored tiles that adorn it.  It was a splash of color in a place where so many items were only clay colored.  Granted, at one time, there was paint on most of the items, but after thousands of years paint has a tendency to fade a little.

Mask of Malinaltepec Warrior Museum of National Anthropology Mexico City

Ok, one last picture.  I know I tend to take a lot of pictures of toilets it seems, but I like to show how there are little difference here and there from what we take for granted here in America.

In all of our travels, this was the first time I had to step on a pedal coming out of the wall to flush the toilet.  Come on, you know you find that fascinating too!!

Toilet with Pedal on Wall to Flush Mexico City

In my next post I will share with you our adventures in the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City.  Come back and read my rants about modern art.  You know you want to!

Until then!