Bolivian Art

“So, you’re a Mexican from Bolivia.”

The first time I heard a Texan refer to a South American as a Mexican I laughed out loud, it was too ridiculous to take seriously. But what I thought was a reference to South Park or some other 13-year-old boy humour was in fact, not. While the bulk of Texans are infinitely more sophisticated, there are still those whose geographical perspective is “Texas, Mexico and Other”.

Since there is no quicker way to piss off a South American than referring to them as Mexicans, I was careful to remember the country of origin for the artists displaying their crafts at this Dallas gallery showing – Bolivia.

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Living in Houston, which has a sizable Central and South American ex-pat community, I’ve had great opportunity to see art from those growing up in the regions. The Bolivian art on display had some of the same aspects: vivid colors, surrealist’s overtones, symmetric composure. I liked it. I really liked the orange and red piece dead center of the entrance to the gallery; it spoke to warm climates, casual afternoons of wandering conversations, no plans and order to chaos evolving naturally without intent.

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Then I saw the price tag, $20,000 and promptly moved the hell on. Galleries take a cut, but these pieces were well over 300% more expensive than comparable works. Loved the artists but their ’boutique’ prices were repellent.





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