Mendoza Argentina

American Ire

IRE. Near Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
IRE. Near Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

Ire: anger, rage, fury, wrath, hot temper, outrage, spleen, crossness.

 

This pretty much describes the current state of much of the electorate these days.

And rightly so, as we are now witnessing an unprecedented assault on American democracy from within.

Hopefully, our institutions–and the people at large–are up to the challenge.

I am very cautiously optimistic.

Sol y Emilio

Emi y Sol, Boda. Mendoza, Argentina, February 18, 2017
Emi y Sol, Boda. Mendoza, Argentina, February 18, 2017

 

Last Saturday was the grand wedding in Mendoza, Argentina–the principal reason we traveled down under to the southern hemisphere.

Felicitaciones, Emilio y Sol!!!

Above you see the novio and novia in a somewhat atypical pose–a pose that I kind of like. Could it be somewhat symbolic of how we all sort of launch ourselves into long-term relationships and, yes, marriage with our eyes metaphorically closed…our hearts bursting with tremendous joy, hope, and expectations–but not really knowing what might be in store for us?

I have to admit that I have stolen the eyes closed idea directly from Cole Thompson and his With Eyes Shut portfolio. Check out those links to see just how effective such portraits can be–very unique work by Cole.

Talca Bottling Plant – Lines, Textures, Shapes, Forms

Talca, #3. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Talca, #3. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

Today, Valentine’s Day, we were treated to a tour of the Talca “embotelladora”, or bottling plant, in Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, Argentina.

¡Gracias, Anna Clara!

Talca (Oeste Embotelladora, S.A.) takes great pride in producing a “national” product. That is, an Argentine company, with Argentine owners and employees, making soda from Argentine ingredients, all for an Argentine market. (Unlike the giant multi-nationals like Pepsi and Coke.) 

It is quite an operation–and what a wonderful place to discover black and white industrial/abstract compositions!

One of the too cool vehicles belonging to the owner, the “Panda truck”:

Talca, #1. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Talca, #1. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

Soda pop has just gotta have gas:

Talca, #5. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Talca, #5. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

Un “charco artístico“:

Talca, #8. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Talca, #8. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

Stacks and stacks and stacks:

Talca, #9. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Talca, #9. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

Bottles and bottles and bottles:

Talca, #12. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Talca, #12. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

I liked this particular abstract, formed by towers of plastic-wrapped packing material and the anti-hailstone fabric above:

Talca, #13. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Talca, #13. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

The Talca brand…in this region, only Coca Cola gives it much competition:

Talca, #14. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Talca, #14. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

Another of my favorite images from this day. It definitely has that industrial look:

Talca, #15. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Talca, #15. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

For more images from the “Talca Tour”, please… CLICK HERE!

Crossing the Cordillera Once Again

“Aquí me pongo a cantar (Here I begin to sing)

Al compás de la vigüela; (To the rhythm of the guitar;)

Que el hombre que lo desvela (For a man who cannot sleep)

Una pena estraordinaria, (Because of an extraordinary sorrow,)

Como la ave solitaria (Like the solitary bird)

Con el cantar se consuela.” (Finds solace in his song.)

José Hernández, (El Gaucho Martín Fierro, 1872)

 

We are back in Mendoza, Argentina for a visit–and a daughter’s wedding!

¡He vuelto a mi “pago”!

 

Just out of the airport in Santiago, we take a southerly heading, with this view of the Cordillera out our left window, to gain altitude before crossing:

El Cordillera, #1. Santiago de Chile, 2017
El Cordillera, #1. Santiago de Chile, 2017

 

That obvious valley leads your eye north to a large glacier that hangs off of the south side of the 6,570-meter (21,560′) Volcán Tupungato. If you are tired of the 14er crowds in Colorado, this is the place you need to be–myriad 6,000-meter peaks, many of which you can basically walk up (maybe with ax and crampons, and after a long, long approach!) and with nary a single ascent each season. Tupungato, though, is more popular and probably gets climbed by maybe a half-dozen parties each year, and usually from the Chilean side.

In this photo, Chile is to the left and Argentina is to the right and we are looking north, again, out a left-side window:

La Cordillera, #3. Chile-Argentina, 2017
La Cordillera, #3. Chile-Argentina, 2017

 

Here, we are headed north and are on final approach to Mendoza’s airport. This is the view out the left window toward the Cordillera de los Andes we just crossed, now covered by clouds. The taller buildings (seismic-proof, they say) are in the center of town and that highway in the foreground would eventually get you to Buenos Aires after some 13 hours of eastbound driving (about 650 miles).

I have often thought that Tucson, Arizona and Mendoza have a lot in common–similar population, similar climate and temperatures, and both located at the foot of arid mountains–although the mountains above Mendoza are WAY yuuuge in comparison to Tucson’s puny-ante Mt. Lemmon:

Mendoza Centro. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017
Mendoza Centro. Mendoza, Argentina, 2017

 

For many more posts about, and photos of, Aconcagua, Mendoza, and the Cordillera, just type “Andes” or “Mendoza” into my site’s SEARCH box. Have fun!

Humble Street Art by Cees

Humble Mural. Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, Argentina, 2016
Humble Mural. Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, Argentina, 2016

 

Just a reminder that even the most humble neighborhoods can be cheered up with a wee bit of street art in just the right place. In this case, the artist is Cees (Natalio Garcia Barros), another top-notch graffiti-mural artist from Mendoza, Argentina.

I liked this one especially because of its humility and simplicity–a bit of optimism and even some slight crowned happiness rising up out of the ruined earth to cover the rusted, precarious, patchwork of galvanized metal.

Cees often does elaborate, large, works with incredible color and complexity. This one, though, is almost tender.

[NOTE: For an example of one of Cees larger works (in cooperation with Dötz and Zupa), take a look at the southwest corner of Manuel Belgrano and Aristedes Villanueva in Mendoza. This huge mural, which took eight days to complete, is called “Wings of Memory” and was done less than a month ago in honor of the thousands of desaparecidos of the 1970s and 1980s civil conflicts often referred to as The Dirty War. To read a short article in Spanish about “Wings” go HERE. For some of my pictures of this mural, CLICK HERE!

Asfáltico In Action (Mendoza, Argentina)

Asfáltico en acción, #14. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016
Asfáltico en acción, #14. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016

 

We finally hooked up, Asfáltico and I. It was an entertaining and revealing experience to watch them transform an urban canvas–one of their older works, as it happened–into a new mural in just over three hours.

Who are they? Six gifted young men: José Pavez, Kevin “Sin Filtro” Suarez, Luciano “Tano” Motta, Ignacio “Nacho” Fernandez, Esteban “Látigo” Warro, and Adrian “Soto” Soto (the latter was unable to be at this session, unfortunately).

As the grupo Asfáltico might tell you themselves, rolling, brushing, and spraying paint on outdoor walls is the pure democratization of art. There is no need to pay any price of admission to see their work. The rich, the poor, the street sweeper, the politician, the lawyer, the newspaper kiosk hawker, the student, the bakery owner–all have an equal opportunity to view and interpret what they see as they walk by on the public sidewalk.

Another aspect of their art that they (and I) find fascinating is how it deteriorates over time. The rain, sun, wind, as well as other (usually lesser) graffiti artists and taggers, all extract their toll over the months and years. The original work is not static, but a dynamic statement…always changing…subject to the whims of the environment and human intervention. A dimension of history and time is slowly added with the passing days. What the Asfálticos put up originally is not what you will see two years later.

Today, I got to observe the process. The following images and commentary tell the story…

The Process

Click here to continue!

La Voz del Pueblo (Voice of the People)

The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls.” –Simon and Garfunkle

A few local examples from around the Mendoza metro area…

 

Some good advice here, maybe?

TV, Facebook, Wake Up! Mendoza, Argentina, 2016
TV, Facebook, Wake Up! Mendoza, Argentina, 2016

 

This next one could be roughly translated, “To be a fan of the local Godoy Cruz soccer club is to live a constant party.” Bodeguero also can mean the person in charge of a winery as was the original sponsor-founder of this football club (Antonio Tomba)–some double meaning going on there. Godoy Cruz is the only Mendoza-area soccer team to have made it into the First Division (the Big Leagues) in Argentina, so they now play River Plate, Boca Juniors, and the other big money powerhouses of this soccer-mad country:

Ser Bodeguero. Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, Argentina, 2016
Ser Bodeguero. Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, Argentina, 2016

 

From an impulsive Eric Clapton fan and likely guitar novice:

Clapton is God. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016
Clapton is God. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016

 

This one could apply directly to those photographers who constantly fret about the Rule of Thirds:

Fuck the Rules. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016
Fuck the Rules. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016

 

The caption below this moving street portrait read (translated), “Not submissive, not devout…but Free, Beautiful, and Crazy!”

Ni Sumisa. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016
Ni Sumisa. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016

 

Hmmm…one might want to take this piece of advice with a small block of sea salt, depending of course on the country in which you live:

Destroy Your Country. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016
Destroy Your Country. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016

 

The following is related to the impact of the “Dirty War” with its human rights violations and thousands of desaparecidos. The idea is, “Build memories, defend memories, walk with the memories, share the memories, and defend the memories…Maintain a focused gaze”:

Sostener La Mirada. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016
Sostener La Mirada. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016

 

This is certainly a very current theme in the USA and in Europe: “They gift us fear so as to sell us security.”

Miedo y Seguridad. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016
Miedo y Seguridad. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016

 

“To refuse an abortion if your life is in danger is a crime.”

El Aborto. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016
El Aborto. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016

 

This confused me initially until I realized that Néstor Chávez was not an individual. Instead, this refers to Argentine ex-President Néstor Kirchner and the ex-President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez (both now deceased). The quote is roughly, “Great patriotism lives within its people.”

Néstor Chávez. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016
Néstor Chávez. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016

 

Finally, I am not sure about the meaning here, but I liked the extraterrestrial look of this little blue guy:

El Hombre Azul, Parque Central. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016
El Hombre Azul, Parque Central. Mendoza, Argentina, 2016