Published On: Tue, Mar 4th, 2014

Hecho en México

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So I opened a store that sells home decor and fun stuff from Central Mexico because I needed an excuse to see the rest of the country and “buying” and “traveling” are things I do well.

Last week I was on a buying trip (don’t cry for me Argentina) with my business partner and we were visiting repeat vendors and meeting new ones and my moments of absolute pride and passion started sparking in the back yard of the Ortega’s in Tonala and the living room of the Yanez-Yanez’s in San Miguel and the trailer park/tin tent factory of the Gonzalez’s.  I really love these guys because not only are the final products of all of these families consistently marvelous; but I know how much back breaking, sweat wiping, skin on the tips of their fingers splitting attention to detail they put into each and every piece of art-yes art, even if it is a mirror or a lamp of a dog playing guitar.  They create magnificence which not only deserves the respect of a purchase, but the respect of telling the story from which each and every piece comes from to the ultimate buyer.  That is the fun part of selling.  Not quite as fun as traveling and buying, but still.

Skulls

Skulls

For the typical gringo, Mexican art is usually associated with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera which were obviously very talented, but it was their story that made their art fun to buy and sell.  Theirs was a love/art/sex/politics story that is shocking enough for our generation, but can you imagine for theirs?  When we went to the southern “suburb” of D.F. called Coyoacan to see the Frida Kahlo museum, Frida and Diego themselves would have been shocked to see the lines of people waiting hours just to see their lives through the eyes of history in the 20/20 hindsight way that we are privy to now…it was fun and marvelously invasive!!!  Walking through their house and seeing their personal collections and unfinished paintings and evidence of pain and creativity, you can see the physical and historical hardships that have resulted in folky and iconic images that remind us of how awesome Mexico and Mexican art is.

Made in Mexico

Made in Mexico

The painful history of this country has been masked beautifully for generations in the delicate hands of the artists who found crafty ways to ignore pain long enough to perfect an art so fabulous that we have to take it home with us.  They deserve to reap the fruits of their labor and my partner and I can’t buy enough to feed them all, but we try to help validate their talent and feed their families a little by bringing their part of Mexico to Merida.  Now that we call Mexico home, it is important to embrace what this beautiful country has to offer and its artists deserve the pledge of loyalty from those of us who enjoy the colorful flair so much.

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Besides, how much cooler is that than buying crap from China?  I like El Triunfo, Walmart and tourist stores in Cancun (yep, it’s all hecho en China there) as much as the next person but they all have tons locations in Mexico and not a damn thing from it – does their inventory have a story?  Nope.

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Don’t get me wrong, the Yucatan has plenty of artisanal talent, but there is a whole country full of amazing pockets of arts and crafts genius from the mountains of Hidalgo to the multiple generations of producers in Guadalajara that is beautiful, inexpensive and in our backyard!  Not only that, all of these artists and their families count on every peso from their labor and intellectual property.  If you would like to support them by buying textiles from D.F. and Hidalgo, sexy tin lamps from San Miguel, glasses and glass products from Guadalajara or even talavera from Guanajuato, come by El Estudio! You can buy something spectacular from a family from Michoacan, Jalisco, Guerrrero or any of the 31 Mexican states who could use your support.  Gracias y paz.

El Estudio 152

El Estudio 152

By Allison Nevins

El Estudio! sells home décor and fun stuff from central Mexico – you can find us between Hotel El Espanol and Casa de los Artesanias on Paseo Montejo between Calles 41 and 43.  Or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/elestudio41?ref=hl

Mexico Travel Care

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