Urban nostalgia: Nahualli Creative Marathon 2020

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In the squares there is an emptiness of artisans selling their products and the emptiness allows to feel a dense atmosphere full of fear to explore the environment. The benches miss the sweat of all the loves prostrated in the countless kisses they have witnessed.
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The Nahualli Creative Marathon drawing contest, held in the midst of a pandemic, at the end of April this year, became the starting point for many artists who were fans of drawing, as well as a new showcase for emerging and professional artists.

Also, with great talents and outstanding work, the winners and honorable mentions were also chosen for giving us a look at the depths of their art and for their dedication in creating fifteen works throughout the Creative Marathon.

The Nahualli Creative Marathon drawing contest, held in the midst of a pandemic, at the end of April this year, became the starting point for many artists who were fans of drawing, as well as a new showcase for emerging and professional artists.

Also, with great talents and outstanding work, the winners and honorable mentions were also chosen for giving us a look at the depths of their art and for their dedication in creating fifteen works throughout the Creative Marathon.

The participant in our 2020 Nahualli Creative Marathon contest, Alejandro Aguilar Bustos (Mexico City, 1962), winner of the “Aficionado” category, was able to transport us with his fifteen drawings and through an honest line, directly to vibrant Mexico City, with all its splendor and agitation; to that energetic and chaotic normality of public transport, to the craving for some tacos at night, to a stroll through the squares and even the charming flea markets at the weekend. That beautiful triviality that used to exist and that we look at with nostalgia today.

It is precisely about that melancholy, and the feeling of having left behind an era that today, despite everything, allows us to approach, among other things, to art, writes the artist and director of Nahualli Gallery, Melva Medina.

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The whisper of the streets and alleys in the neighborhoods is silent. I miss the band in the market, the people eating as a family at the tables with colorful tablecloths, and those friendly conversations with the neighbors who coincide in queuing at the poultry shop or buying the daily fruit.

The cafes and bars are sad, they cry every night because they miss the noise. The spontaneous singer who, inspired by the trio, dares to sing a verse for his beloved to the tune of a few mojitos and carajillos, has now taken a long break.

In the squares there is an emptiness of artisans selling their products and the emptiness allows to feel a dense atmosphere full of fear to explore the environment. The benches miss the sweat of all the loves prostrated in the countless kisses they have witnessed.

There is no one to feed the pigeons or give the leftovers to the stray dog. I even miss the beggar selling bracelets, my countrymen from Chiapas carrying their blouses. Young urban artists have left their proclamations wrapped in the soul, pressed by the desire to go out and sound loud; as well as the dancers, the cyclists, the walkers, the marquesitas and the elotes, the workers, the shopkeepers…

Only some come out covering their mouths suffocated by the hot air of the environment combined by their breath fearing the presence of the invisible enemy in their bodies.

The injunction to confinement is already too long to be taken seriously. The hug, the “little faje”, the passionate kiss are missed; just shaking hands and feeling the energy of a friend. The friction of bodies without fear, the closeness in the bus, getting close to someone on the truck, “hacer bola” in meetings or family gatherings, or rallies…

Life is still ours and it is enlivened with the memory and longing for what we will do again, once this is over. Because it will end one day, and then we will be even more alive and aware, we will have grown and we will be more than ready to continue and intensely appreciate what had been imperceptible. Today is the time to contemplate, visual enjoyment, imagining and growing within ourselves. It is time to enjoy art and reading.

I miss the shouting, the singing, the choir, the school group, the ball game, recess time to see the kids sharing their lunch…

Alejandro Aguilar reminds us of who we are, our daily intensity and the joy of living. It is time to contemplate his work and yearn with desire all that we are capable of giving. He reminds us that this will happen to give rise to our daily experience again, now more conscious than before. And, it is in the near future that we will appreciate ourselves intensely – internally and externally – to give ourselves whole again enjoying life in a different way.

Melva Medina, 2020.
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More about the artist

As an amateur, Alejandro Aguilar, a graduate of the Graphic Communication career at the National School of Plastic Arts of the UNAM, has had an intermittent personal plastic production that has flowed in four aspects: the first and most numerous is that of drawings and paintings of anatomical reinterpretations of arthropod species and diverse fauna; the second, which has been brief, is that of drawings of “humorous” recreations of stories and anecdotes from the world and the urban underworld; the third, incipient, is of the intervention of waste objects with micro sculpture, drawing and/or painting; and the fourth, incipient as well, the production of an object book that in this area is illustrated by a recently concluded piece with texts from the book “Las Enseñanzas de Don Juan” by Carlos Castañeda.

“It was another aspect that I have always liked, the urban question, the question of characters in the street, of characters that you meet on the street every day: the worker, the craftsman, the people who go out to work at work, the people who go on public transport, the people you see in the subway or in the minibus.

I like watching all the people. From there, I generate certain stories and it was the part that I liked to participate, this time, in the Nahualli Creative Marathon”.

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For this reason, and choosing pencil, ink, watercolor and acrylic on paper or cardboard as his preferred means when creating his works, Alejandro Aguilar was awarded as one of the winners of our Creative Marathon 2020 for his talent, and because In the reality we live in today, the frankness of his art allowed us to look out the window to look at that outside world that today seems so far away.

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