I was in New York City this week visiting an amigo of mine who is doing well for himself. In the true Guatemalan spirit, he is letting the world know that we also have the brains to along with our amazing looks. After this little visit, I have decided to contemplate the direction in mi vida and have decided to become an artist.
You may be thinking that with my looks, I am already an artist as I bring beauty to the world, but this is not enough. I cannot be in many places and the weather is getting cold, so I am unable to walk up and down the street for more than a couple of minutes a day. Besides, it isn’t fair that only the residents of Washington DC get to see my mustache in all of its glory. So, I have decided to become an artist. A photographer. This way, I will be able to bring the beauty of the world seen through the eyes of a Guatemalan to more people.
What does my trip to New York have to do with my becoming a photographer? Bueno, at mi amigo’s gallery, I walked around looking at the prices and made the determination that the people who are buying the $40,000 pictures of banana plants, $2.5 million picture of grocery stores and $300,000 stenciled expletives are getting duped.
This picture of a banana tree is $40,000?
“El Guapo, it isn’t just a banana tree. The artist is trying to send us a message of the forgotten simplicity of life. Look at the lighting and how the banana tree is positioned slightly to the left of the frame. Look at the yellow leaf which looks out of place which symbolizes a place where society will never be again amongst nature and purity.”
Huh. Interesante. So, you basically say things like that so the gringos pay $40,000 for this, right?
“Yeah, pretty much.”
Forty thousand dollars for a picture of a banana plant with a yellow leaf. I figure that I can do this for a lot less and the investment potential is far greater because I will be the first contemporary, Guatemalan photographer from Washington DC with a mustache to break into the art scene. So, this is my first run at my new art:
What does this picture, titled "Honey por favor", really allows you to see? How is our artist feeling emotionally? Here we have a simple household sweet which is a bit more than half full. Or is it? Is the angle of the photograph giving the viewer an illusion of the bottle being half full or is the artist trying to portray the frustration of a life that always has a willing spoon that always finds itself empty? The old hardwood floor portrays a solid foundation on which life is based. Wood being the sacrifice a tree gave to allow the artist to have a sweet life. Estimated Price: $69.99
This photograph, titled "Switch of mi vida", is so profound that one must sit down to fully grasp its meaning. Taken in the artist's home, at a glance it shows a simple light switch with an unfortunate choice of color in the background. It is, however, much more than just this. The artist, having roots in the country of Guatemala uses this picture as a way to show that although he is immersed in a culture that may not appreciate the lime green color of his wall (here, his cultural identity) that he is unable to simply turn his Latino-ness on and off. The white of the light switch symbolizes the comformity pressed upon his heritage and the light of the picture shows his refusal to turn it off. This is a perfect example of the new Guatemalan art that is sweeping the art scene. Expected price: $119.94