Cochineal Bugs, Alebrijes, and Mexican Arts: Oaxaca’s Rich Indian Heritage. Part 2

Bugs in your mug? In your Starbucks Strawberry Frappuccino maybe? Or your pink tequila? Picture these squashed creatures in your drink: Humongous yuk factor, right? But it’s not really these bugs you’ll see. It’s the color they impart. One thing you can reassure yourself about—it’s natural, not one of those chemical dyes with toxic components …

Insects, Mezcal and Alebrijes: Oaxaca’s Rich Indian Heritage . Part 1

We didn’t know exactly what to expect in Oaxaca, though we’d been to other parts of Mexico in an earlier trip. But we knew a couple who waxed wistful over Oaxaca’s charms especially “los siete moles,” a label often applied to Oaxaca. We just had to experience the place for ourselves. Mole, as you might …

What is Art ? Part 3. Art is: A Tube of Paint. No More, No Less

Art is: A Tube of Paint. On first blush, this makes sense, at least when it comes to painting: Most paintings start with a canvas and a tube (or tubes) of paint. But, before Duchamp and, perhaps, Russian avant-garde painter Wassily Kandinsky—credited with producing the first abstract paintings—a painting also needed an idea and/or a …

What is Art, Really? Part 2. The Missing Urinal: The Politics of Artistic Success

A curious intrigue surrounded Duchamp’s urinal aka Fountain by R. Mutt. The original urinal not only never graced the show it sought to get into. It had mysteriously disappeared. Where to and taken by whom? No one knew or would say. It is, in fact, this disappearance that bestowed on Fountain its notoriety and its …