Indigenous: (adjective) originating or occurring naturally in a particular place.
SYNONYMS: native, original, aboriginal, local, domestic, homegrown, earliest, first
Indigenous is a great word. It is also an adjective that has grown exponentially in use since the 1960s, and is a huge influence on the Artisanal Movement. Er, it is also really fun to say and makes me feel hipper when tossed into a conversation.
However, I wonder if this boom in appreciation is just a recognition of cultural diversity and a willingness – eagerness – to understand and celebrate our origins, or if it is the result of easier access to see into other world’s care of the internet and social media. Either way, it is a welcome development.
When Sujac Studios launched, I hadn’t realized how much it would push me to learn, and I am now a full-time student in this effort to contextualize my “finds.” In addition to our artists, I have come across collectors and curators whose experience and knowledge have been invaluable in this process…
D.B. is a colorful character by any standards. When we met at the Modernica show in downtown L.A., I thought he was either a full-blown fabricator of beautiful lies, or the real deal. (He.is.the.real.deal.). In the 1980’s, he was a cigar runner in Cuba and got to see works by Castro’s official photographer and managed to acquire some of these. In the 1990’s, he moved to Mexico City to live and work in that vibrant city, all the while mixing it up with the local cognoscenti. Needless to say, I am indebted to him for sharing his adventures with me, as well as his trove of Latin American art, which is simply outstanding.
I bought two pieces from D.B.; one is a print from the 1970’s by the great Pedro Coronel. The other is a large work of ink on paper by Carla Espota. For me, the latter embodies all that is the soul of indigenous Mexican art – spiritualism and the struggle and passion that is life. What more could there be?
Welcome to Sujac Studios – enjoy the view!