Redeemed by art and nature,
Punta Cana day two
In the evening of the first day, after I understood from the moto concho, who rents his back seat for a fair price that the first open air market is 40 km away, I grumblingly condescended to go to a 4 km far supermarket. I hated the place. Supermarkets smell! I got there some medium quality cheese and mediocre cold cuts but the fruits were as fine as they come. Among them I had the inestimable passion fruit (that I knew and ecstatically enjoyed in many places and under many names as passiflora, chinola, le fruit de la passion, granadilla and maracuya). Add to that a bottle of rum. I also got a nasty burn when I leaned my naked calf upon the overheated concho’s engine. It was a lousy day (at least what I thought then) and only some homemade cocktails could help. I had a whole set. They did. I recommend the use of passion fruit instead of lime to create a mojito of sorts…. Olympian gods will drop the ambrosia and go for it…
The next and last day I decided to do something by myself without getting milked like a super cow by a tour operator. I found during the night between one cocktail and another, the WIFI was not worse than those in the posh hotels, a target. I will go to Laguna Bavaro, a Wildlife Reserve some 10 km away from my basis. Sounds bio con brio! Then early in the morning I went to find my concho who was camping at the end of a lane near an enormous failed building project, all walls, poles and holes, except some windows obturated with wooden boards or decorated with hand washed intimate lingerie. I fancy very much these modern ruins, projects which passed away before coming into being. They can constitute a fair solution for homeless individuals would the municipalities assure a certain amount of decent security. Got a price agreement with the concho for a round trip and here we go. He had never been there; that was a wonderful indication, Vive la liberté! I was clearly deserting the MASS TOURISM trap. When we hit the place, my leg began to hurt, I started to doubt if it was the right location. The information was scarce, the area seemed abandoned and the well-hidden office closed. The concho left, I should call him back when done. And then I plunged into a kind of tropical marine rain forest. Suddenly I remarked under the porch of a dilapidated cabin an aged black and fat person vigorously digging in a metal pot containing most certainly arroz con carne. Much more with signs than with words, I was quite offended being fluent in Spanish, he explained to me that the entrance is free and that I can go right or left. It was up to me. I went forward with the care and the respect that one needs to show into a graveyard. Was it a dead reserve? The indications of what I see or hear, they were some chirps around, were missing. The paths were tortuous sided by sloshy, mud filled, treacherous holes which encourages no one to fool around. There were no snakes nor scorpions in view…I hadn’t seen yet either canals or the Laguna but I felt them to be near. My wits improved slightly when I encountered some slender and powerful bamboo reeds and some proud luxuriant ferns. That should be the place. There were a quantity of noisy “horse” mosquito around, not that they were as big as a horse, but they seemed so crafty that should they sting a nag it will wildly buck. Again, I was ready to leave when suddenly I reached the enchanted domain – the mangrove grove.
The mangroves were superb wherever I met them, either Galapagos or in the Amazonas but here at Bravado, in Punta Cana they seem to belong to another world so pure was their design, so conspicuous their metaphysical reference to primary elements such as earth, water, light and wind and so intense their combination between form, tension and matter. I hope that all this is slightly intelligible. However I felt the need to become more precise and took from my bag my magic telescope which permits me to see across time and through similarities and had another look at the mangroves. And then instead of the regular cone above the earth of slender roots ending in a short trunk I have seen a one to fifty model of a gothic cathedral built only with pillars, arches, buttresses and ribs. Amazing! Another look brought me the view of an elegant tepees village nested on a soft slope covered by vivid green grass and protected northwest by a majestic range of secular redwood. Hard to believe! One view turn of the visual tube offered me a look from above of the bones’ assemblage of a giant bat’s transparent wings. I was delighted but I felt that I had to do something positive and I marched quickly through the marsh and grove and got in no time to the lagoon. It had a vegetal outlook, incoherently called emerald green, convincing who still needs to be that LIFE BEGAN IN WATER. In this moment it became clear that only art could save me and I got the enlightenment.
Abstract art is going down. A cheap Pollock, 10 million dollars only, failed to make the reserve. That, at a moment that the stock market is sky up. People are hungry for natural forms. I should rent a hangar, something huge. And I need a saw. I would like a reciprocating saw, it sounds nice at this time of dialogue and mutual understanding. Too expensive, so a chain saw it will do and a farmer wagon, second hand of course with a couple of nags. I will cut between 300 to 1000 mangrove trees. I know, all the Christmas’ tree people will utter a shout….I should just add a pair of good earmuffs to the acquisitions’ list. Certainly I will need some one gallon containers of acrylic colors. You know: Chinese yellow, gold, Coral link, black, white for mixing, many shades like Cosmic latte, Caribbean green of course, Chinese violet, blue (some two or three hues, Eton Blue for example), canary, Fuzzy Wuzzi, Congo Pink, Dark Jungle green, Dark liver, Caput mortum and Burn umber. Well that is enough for a beginning. Then I will invade a Craft and Hobby store to get some glass beads, small bells, pierced stones, shells, wool threads and silk stripes, eagle feathers, tiny bones and so on. A visit to a dumping ground, ha!ha! that is super vernacular in the case, will be useful too. Photo I will cut the trees exactly the same, roots at the water level to avoid some electric shock and truncate the trunk 20 centimeters above the meeting apex of the roots. So I will get a basic conical form, 150cm to 180cm high, reminding an upside down umbrella of grand hotel (again!) doorman with no canopy or pole but with the equivalent of ribs and the ferrule. Bring everything to hangar, don’t whip the nags, let’s dry. After, I will start to paint, that will be the painting leg, with and without a ground, mostly one solid color to keep the brushes’ cost down. When the color is partially dry I will press my left hand fingers on one of the roots as near as possible to the cut according to the state of my back. It will be the most secure signature in the world. Let’s dry. I called the second stage the Gerhard Richter drops. In order to avoid monotony it will be wise to add with rigger or a dagger brush some tiny color drops or lines or even scribblings, parsimoniously in one or two areas. For example, some Persian blue bird footprints on a Champagne or Desert Sand background will be nice. Let’s dry. The next and the last is the ethnic phase. It consists in just to attach here and there, parsimoniously, the materials from the Crafts and Hobby store and from the dumping ground. I haven’t decided yet if I will use thin tin wire or transparent nylon to hang the ethnicity! That is for the commoners. They will get a unique natural form and an art object simultaneously, with certified signature and a dozen of cultural and cultist connotations. Everybody can easily run his mouth and tell why he likes or dislikes the work with no need of any esoteric language. The art work is solid and light. If it falls down it does not smash the baby or the dog. Can be often cleaned with a feather duster or an old feather boa and it is possible to bring it to the attic anytime that you feel to. 100000 US dollars is the fixed price including the certificate. To be sold only through auction houses.
For fat-cats, high rollers known also as WHALES I previewed a special service – the scribe phase. I will hire three trained draughtsmen, there is a feminine to that but I am too tired by now, a Chinese, a Japanese and a Hindu, who will write in their particular idiom with microscopic characters a text proposed by the client and translated at his expense. The calligraphers will use Chinese ink and polyurethane varnish of the kind employed to varnish FISHES to secure the inscription. The writing will be in reverse to preserve some privacy and will contain what the client believes necessary to tell to his family, to his friends, to God, to posterity or to his enemies. Basically nobody cares. Proverbs, quotes, advices, curses, personal reflections, imprecations, everything goes. The number of obscenities is limited. All together the text shouldn’t overpass 231 graphic signs. The art work transaction, namely the cost, will be handled by a lawyer or a retired cop. I fathom an enormous success. It will run Jeff Koons, the major artistic CASH COW, out of business. Instead of dogs I will provide the world with trees of life. To offer myself an entire floor in a posh hotel will be easy. That should teach the Holy G. , the arrogant liberal activist a good lesson.
But wait a little bit, didn’t thought and SAID Platon, the mighty aesthetic guru, that a true WORK OF ART, comes to fruition, reaches achievement in the MIND ONLY? There it starts and there it ends. The concept alone should be more than sufficient to get me durable, non-mercantile, enormous artistic recognition. It will be pathetic at my age to get into that disheveled and frenetic activity when I have to catch tomorrow early morning an uninterrupted four hour bus ride to Santo Domingo. Modern bus, well equipped I emphasize, if you know what I mean!
With infinite respect,
PS1. There is no wonder that the famous photo Attic moron sculptor Praxiteles, who was not to very keen on Platon’s ideas, let escape out of his mind that stupendous Aphrodite of Knidos. As a result during millenniums, at least, half of the male population of the world made lousy husbands comparing the qualities of the halves they got with the inspiring forms of the great Phryne courtesan, the sculptor’s model. Men can be so petty…And if their best halves will compare them with Apollo di Belvedere how they will fare?
PS2. Unfortunately things do not end here. Somebody gratified me with a full size jinx. It was an error to come to Punta CANE!, I did a bigger mistake while leaving. My curiosity cum gluttony photo dragged me to one of the few beach restaurants. It looked terrible, it was horrible. I ordered a whole fish, probably a sea bass cousin. It had some turbid eyes and a soft neck. The waitress, fleshy and attractive, very much akin to a dense and smiling plum, noting soft with her, went to ask the price from the squatted fat, sloppy cum slobby, half-sleeping owner. He had murky eyes and looked like a pimp. Maybe he was a pimp in his spare time. 20 bucks he ejaculated. For this amount I had in my home town a superb animal that I cook myself with skill and glee. Fascinated by the lady’s curves and besotted by the heat I accepted. How I didn’t drop dead on the spot after consuming parts of that aquatic corpse will remain a mystery for ever.