Walk on the surreal city in Mexico jungle
• Walk on the surreal city in the jungle of Mexico
Name Edward James little to say to fans of poetry, though he considered himself a poet. A little more than it says art historians, but in the painting he showed himself more as a patron, rather than a creator. And yet it was his hand - or rather, imagination belongs to one of the most exquisite and amazing works of art ever created by man. It - Las Pozas, surrealistic city park in the jungles of Mexico, which is located near the small mountain village of Xilitla, and which was created by the British eccentric in his own project.
I am interested in person of Edward James, looked dedicated his film a couple of years ago, read a book written about him, and finally hit the Silitlu to see with their own eyes that the monument to the human spirit and imagination.
The uniqueness of Las Pozas begins with the fact that it is difficult to identify the words. The park? Garden? Statue? Or created from a concrete monument to their own illusions?
The road from Mexico City to Silitly (so say the names of Xilitla), a small town lost in the mountains of central Mexico, takes about eight hours and is a difficult test.
During the trip, you find yourself in several climatic zones, and some sections of the road are dangerous due to landslides and may simply be closed. Humid tropical climate in Silitle can also be a challenge for Europeans.
Edward James bought here a coffee plantation in 1947, and over the next ten years was engaged in cultivation of orchids and exotic birds, until an unexpected frost that occurred in 1962, has not confirmed his long-standing idea of creating something more durable than not tolerate cold colors.
He was born Edward James in 1907, the family settled in the UK Liverpool wealthy American industrialist, from whom he later inherited a multimillion-dollar fortune. It was said that his mother, socialite, Scottish by birth, was the daughter of the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII of, however, as much in his biography, this situation can only version.
The first book of poems published James, studying at Oxford. In the 30s he became interested in ballet, was familiar with Boris Kohno and George Balanchine and married the famous Austrian-American dancer Tilly Losch, for which is based on the means ballet company (the union subsequently collapsed with scandal: ballerina accused James of homosexuality) .
Throughout the 30s James patron of the Surrealist movement - not only getting their pictures and journal publishing, but also directly helping those who, in his view, was talented and needed protection. For example, the support of Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte, who lived for several years in his house.
By the way, written by Magritte owns two portraits of Edward James. In one widely-known paintings titled "Not to play" man in the mirror, too, turns away from the viewer, and on the other, so called "Portrait of Edward James," a dazzling light spot completely obscures the face.
The collection of paintings, collected by James, in addition to well-known artists of the XX century, such as Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Paul Chelischev, Max Ernst, Giorgio De Chirico, there was a place even for Hieronymus Bosch.
Construction of the park called Las Pozas ( "Ponds") focused on all 60s and 70s, while the idea of erecting a corner of paradise originated with James already in the 40s, after a short period of life in Los Angeles. For this he was advised to Mexico - as a country suitable for the mysterious and esoteric searches much better than America.
By creating hundreds of works of art by local artists were involved in the tropical jungle, and masons, and cost of the project in the end exceeded 5 million dollars.
In order to support the construction, James had to sell his unique collection of surrealism at auction. By the time of his death in 1984, Las Pozas was a 36 sculptures and buildings, scattered on the territory of rainforest and sometimes interconnected paths or stairs. Many buildings have fanciful names, such as "house on three floors, which are, in fact, four or five or six," "house with a roof like a whale," "Stairway to Heaven", "ducks the temple," "Bamboo Palace" ...
Las Pozas remained unfinished. After the death of James about it for a long time, he took care of his old friend Plutarch Gastelum, who in his time and helped find James Silitlu himself was married to a local woman. In 2007, Las Pozas came under the administrative control "Silitly Fund" (Fondo Xilitla), which supports all the buildings in the state in which they were left by the author.
Some buildings still stick out the remnants of reinforcement, something where the flowers grew on the concrete. To bring the author's intent to complete it would hardly be appropriate: all these images could be born in mind only one person that no longer exists.
But there are magnificent waterfalls, jungles and eternal embodied in concrete exquisite images that over time further includes harmony with the surrounding nature, overgrown with moss, flowers and filled with a new meaning, perhaps, already incomprehensible even to its creator.