Thursday, June 13, 2013

First Day Out and About en Quito

Condor y Toro

After hunting down where exactly my internship building location is, I walked up this hill to the Fundación Guayasamin.  It is a museum in the house of a famous Ecuadorian artist, Oswaldo Guayasamin, with a connected building housing more of his art.  The painting above is called Condor y Toro, and it represents the tension between the Spanish and indigenous Ecuadorian cultures.  It is a gigantic piece, and was my favorite of the visit to the museum.
[casa de Guayasamin]
The house, built in 1977, is absolutely beautiful and $3 gets you a guided tour of everything, including the little bonus of sneaking into the library (which apparently is not part of the tour but could be tossed in if you asked nicely).  At the end of the tour inside the house, there is a quote on the wall that was very poignant and moving:
Si no tenemos la fuerza de estrechar nuestras manos con las manos de todos, si no tenemos la ternura de tomar en nuestros brazos los niños del mundo, si no tenemos la voluntad de limpiar la tierra de todos los ejércitos, este pequeño planeta será un cuerpo seco y negro, en el espacio negro.
If we don't have the strength to reach our hands out to the hands of everyone, if we don't have the tenderness to take the children of the world into our arms, if we don't have the will to clean the world of all the armies, this little planet will become a dry and black body in a dark space.
Despite becoming very rich and famous as a painter and artist, Guayasamin came from humble origins (the eldest of 10 siblings born in 1919 and whose father was a taxi driver).  He described himself as being a painter and a voice for the poor and voiceless, and his many different paintings of Quito nestled among the Pichinche mountains were reflections of his various moods as captured by the mountains.  Another famous Guayasamin quote:  "Yo lloraba porque no tenía zapatos hasta que ví un niño que no tenía pies."  It means, "I was crying because I didn't have any shoes until I saw a boy who didn't have any feet."

[another view of Quito y Pichinche]
Quito Azul
El Violinista

[dead/dying souls reaching for freedom]
After the Guayasamin museum, I had enough time to visit a small museum toward Mariscal, called Mindalae.  To get there, it was my first time on the Ecovia bus (there are three lines that basically run north-south throught he city).  You've got to be careful on the buses because they get crowded, pickpockets and thieves are adept at their crafts, and unaware tourists make great targets.  However, I managed to get myself and all of my $3.25 off the bus without incident.
Ecovia, Red Line
The museum was really small so it took just the right amount of time to go through.  It has a small, but nice, collection of indigenous art, pottery, ceramics, weaponry, textiles, and clothing from all of the indigenous groups in Ecuador.  It was really interesting to see the differences in dress among the groups, as well as learn about how many diverse indigenous groups there are in the country. 
[indigenous Ecuadorian clothing]


Jamie Stark said...

Hey J-Mad! Love the post, I was just at the Guasamín museum. How did you find a good image of Quito Azul? I'm trying to find one and the Guasamín foundation couldn't even help. Let me know in the comments if you can! I couldn't find your email on the blog. Thanks!

J-Mad said...

Hey Jamie, I think I found this image somewhere online through a Google Search. I was looking for a print the whole time I was in Ecuador, but couldn't find one. It was a bummer because that's my favorite version of Quito that he painted.

Jamie Stark said...

Agreed, bummer! My favorite as well. Thanks for letting me know! I'll re-comment if I ever find a print of Quito Azul!

J-Mad said...

I did get a nice print of El Violinista from a guy walking around la Mariscal selling the posters for $4. it was actually decent quality too. you might be able to find replicas painted on wood in the markets in Quito or Otavalo too. Suerte!

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