Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Different Sort of Art

In various cities around the world you are likely to see
artists like this one; usually men who look like statues
which move randomly and provide entertainment -
for a donated fee - see the slotted container? 
In my travels I have enjoyed going to museums, art galleries, art shows and other events where artists either have some kind of presentation of their work or are themselves on display. The photo above is of a man dressed up as a woodchopper. This is interesting on several levels. For one thing, there is a HUGE issue about cutting down trees in Colombia because of the erosion of the land, so I find this woodchopper in downtown Bogota, near the Museum of Gold (Musee del Oro), fascinating.

Secondly, this fellow appears to be wearing a cap which is more like something one finds in the United States up near the Canadian border, not common at all in Colombia. His artistry in the design of the costume and his actions was skillful and as one got closer, he raised his ax, made a few chopping motions and then stopped. Then he winked at me. And motioned for me to get a little closer. I'm all about the adventure, as my readers know, so I stepped in a bit closer. He bent down and planted a kiss on my cheek. Of course I made a donation!
The woodchopper's kiss - no splinters!
Then I managed to persuade my guide and friend, Stella, to pose with him for that winsome woodchopper's kiss and this is what I captured.

I have seen an all-gold fireman in Cabo San Lucas, a silver-toned 'Mercury' in Seattle, Washington, and a couple of coal black 'cast-iron' fishermen in Cartegena, Colombia. These men go to a lot of work to create their characters - I have yet to see a woman doing this kind of art - and I hope the next time you are in a city that has one or more statues that you will find it worthy of your time and a donation because it is an artistic expression that merits some attention.

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