Unity in Variety exhibition in Balboa Park.

An exhibition titled Unity in Variety is currently on display in Balboa Park at the Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Mexican artist Gabriel Rico has assembled objects related to a coastal desert estuary setting.

Walking around the floor of the museum gallery is like walking through a strange dreamscape of scattered symbols. Animals living and dead, stones, bones, faces, apparitions from the past, trash, a variety of abstract figures and forms stand or lie on sand by the unseen water.

Human artifacts, contemporary issues and disturbing images seem more prominent than nature’s beauty. The estuary imagined appears to be one in an urban setting.

Neon symbols dangling from the ceiling include vowels, numbers, the five senses and essential geometric shapes. They are common to every mind, but each experience of life is unique.

According to the exhibition’s description, the collected “objects are not meant to be considered individually rather experienced as a unified whole.” The art is provocative and raises questions differently in the mind of every viewer. Who are we? Where do we live and how do we live?

Does this gallery seem oddly familiar to your eyes? The Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego is a recent fusion of two organizations: the LUX Art Institute and the San Diego Art Institute. The latter used to occupy this same space inside Balboa Park’s House of Charm.

If you like to think about the world you live in, and perhaps in unexpected ways, Unity in Variety will give you pause. Like a stirring dream that lingers.

The exhibition runs through February 27, 2022.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Exhibition of legendary Posada art in Escondido.

When one thinks of popular Mexican art, traditional images from Día de los Muertos quickly come to mind. The artist most responsible for this cultural identification, José Guadalupe Posada, was a printmaker in Mexico whose often used skeletons and skulls in his illustrations, to make satirical comments on society and the politics of his era.

Undoubtedly you recognize the image in the above photograph. It is Posada’s iconic La Calavera Catrina, a 1910–1913 zinc etching that was later popularized by Mexican painter Diego Rivera. Today La Calavera Catrina is a common sight during Day of the Dead.

According to this Wikipedia article, it’s estimated that during his long career, Posada produced 20,000 plus images for broadsheets, pamphlets and chapbooks… Examples of this material and a wide range of other artwork inspired by José Guadalupe Posada can be viewed at an exhibition now on display in Escondido.

The gallery walls in the Museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido are covered with Posada’s bones. There are political figures, and military scenes, and scenes from ordinary life printed in Mexico City by his partner, publisher Antonio Vanegas Arroyo.

I visited the museum this weekend and could plainly see how influential Posada has been in the art world, Mexican culture and world history. I also learned how Posada died a pauper and was buried in an unmarked grave.

The exhibition, José Guadalupe Posada: Legendary Printmaker of Mexico, continues at the Museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido through November 21, 2021.

Photograph of Posada’s Workshop, with Posada on the right.
Museum visitor views works of political art inspired by Posada.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Death and Monsters in Escondido!

Fearless people (and art lovers) have the rare opportunity to view Death and Monsters in Escondido!

Muerte y Monstruos (Death and Monsters) is an exhibition currently on view in the museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. The collection of traditional Mexican artwork, created by the Linares family of Mexico City, includes many papier-mâché sculptures depicting skeletons and skulls, or calaveras, engaged in living and death.

And there are fantastic monsters, or alebrijes, too! Pedro Linares is credited with inventing that form of very colorful folk art.

It’s fortunate many of the fragile pieces on display have survived. Their purpose was to be burned or broken during holiday festivals in Mexico. The sculptures in Death and Monsters were preserved by San Diego art collector Larry Kent.

Much of this art was inspired by legendary Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. His iconic work is being concurrently displayed in the main gallery of the museum!

Would you enjoy a unique experience during the upcoming season of Día de los Muertos? The exhibition continues through November 21, 2021.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

UPDATE: Russian sub to be new reef off Ensenada, Mexico!

I learned something interesting this morning!

I was walking along the Embarcadero past the Maritime Museum of San Diego when I noticed the hull of their badly rusting old Soviet Foxtrot-class submarine, B-39, was partially wrapped with orange material. I asked at the ticket booth for the latest news concerning this historic Russian sub, and I was told it’s being prepared for one last journey. It is to be towed away from the museum next month.

During the Cold War this particular diesel electric submarine, which was commissioned in the 1970’s, might have lurked at times off the West Coast, tracking United States Navy ships. Its final destination will be the Pacific Ocean off Ensenada, Mexico. There it will be sunk to create a new underwater reef!

UPDATE!

Oh, the perils of a blogger whose website, through mysterious algorithms, is considered by some a news site. I make a lousy journalist!

The gentleman I relied on for the preceding information was only partially correct–and very wrong concerning the main matter. The submarine will indeed be towed to Ensenada (at an as yet unknown time) to be disassembled for its valuable metal components. But will it become a reef? I’m told, no.

I heard this a couple days later from a much more reliable source during another visit to the Maritime Museum.

I also took the following photographs. You can see strips of orange safety fence wrapped around a portion of the rusted outer hull.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A festive mural in San Ysidro!

I really like this festive mural painted in San Ysidro late last year by Michelle Ruby, aka Mrbbaby. The colorful character you see above is named Chucho!

Find this mural on the side of the Carolin Shoes building at 660 E. San Ysidro Boulevard!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Lowrider, motorcycle, hot rod art at Summer Madness!

Check out these photos of cool artwork spotted today at the Summer Madness By the Bay Car Show!

The big free public event, which draws car clubs from all over Southern California, was held in downtown San Diego at Embarcadero Marina Park North. I was told over four hundred vehicles were on display.

In addition to artistically decorated motorcycles and hot rods, I saw row after row of mind-blowing lowriders.

Super creative artwork could be found on hoods, under hoods, on roofs, on panels, doors, bumpers, engines . . . pretty much anywhere you can add paint or chrome!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Mariachis perform at Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

The Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park was filled this evening with uplifting music. Mariachi Estrellas de Chula Vista performed in front of a large crowd!

Lively traditional Mexican music turned this free Twilight in the Park Summer Concert into a special, memorable event. Many families filled the pavilion benches. There was much clapping and singing along with popular songs.

An elderly man behind me sang words he knew by heart joyfully. So did a very young boy sitting next to him.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

More art discovered around Barrio Logan!

I arrived at the Danza event in Chicano Park about an hour early on Sunday, so I walked randomly around the Barrio Logan neighborhood, curious to see what I might find.

What I discovered was a lot of cool art!

Some of the murals appeared fairly new; other time-faded artwork I hadn’t observed or photographed during previous walks…

Colorful mural spray painted on side of Corner Studios Barrio Logan.
La Tortuga painted on the FamilyHealth-Youth Counseling Center.
The amazing front of Farallon Design in Barrio Logan.
Tiles with shell designs.
Ocean waves in one swelling sculptural mosaic.
Colors fill a beautiful seashell.
Skater girl on one side of a utility box.
Devilish second side of the same box.
One happy and one stubborn character painted on a third side.
Amazing huge mural painted by San Diego artist Michelle Ruby, aka Mrbbaby, on wall of U-Stor-It Barrio Logan.
Fun graphic by entrance to Barrio Cuts Barbershop by @paradigmartworks.
Pig on a box.
Mexican dancers painted on ¡SALUD TACOS! by ShoLove.
Aztec figures brighten the restaurant’s black exterior, again by ShoLove.
Barrio Logan building on Logan Avenue painted by graffiti artist Dave “Persue” Ross.
BunnyKitty among other fun characters.
I’ve seen this fearsome simian in other Persue artwork. Don’t know his name.
Big eyes above the door of Hola Swim.
All sorts of murals on either side of a construction site on Logan Avenue.
Young smiling face on tiles at the Chicano Federation of San Diego County Barrio Logan Child Development Center.
A second face at left side of front entrance. I think this art might be by Mario Torero.
Very colorful spray painted fence by local Chicana artist Jessica Petrikowski.
Painted silhouettes of cacti and bird of prey.
Painted skeletons on boards appear to be by Mexican artist Mizar Martin (MZR MRTN).
Feline eyes by Ground Floor Murals.
Feline mouth by Ground Floor Murals.
Trashcan in front of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Station 7 painted with a firefighter skull!
Family rides bike on a nearby electrical box.
More street art with bright sunny abstract designs.
Other side of the same box.
Smiling mural in alley remembers a departed loved one.

UPDATE!

Here’s a couple more from a later walk…

By artist C. Castaneda, 2018.
I believe this mural is by artist Sand One.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Big gathering of Azteca dancers in Chicano Park!

A group of about a hundred Danza Azteca-Chichimeca dancers filled Chicano Park today with life and color and tradition and joy!

To the rhythmic beat of drums, strummed lutes and rattled gourds, families danced within and around Chicano Park’s central gazebo, or Kiosko.

I don’t know a whole lot about the Mexican Concheros ceremony and dance, other than it’s a fusion of pre-Hispanic and Christian symbols and rituals. You can learn more here.

Additional elements in today’s dance I believe come from San Diego’s local Native American Kumeyaay culture–including the blessing of participants with white sage smoke, which purifies minds and hearts. Please write a comment if I need correction.

I do know that the energy of the performers and the spirit that emanated from their dance was uplifting. Even as I kept a respectful distance, the infectious beat made me want to dance, too! Perhaps because a human heartbeat is a thing we all have in common.

I hope these photos do justice to what those watching and listening experienced.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Photos of Viva La Frida in Barrio Logan!

A lively, very colorful event is going on this weekend in Barrio Logan!

Along Logan Avenue, southeast of Chicano Park, the neighborhood and local businesses are celebrating the iconic, enormously popular Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. The festive celebration is called Viva La Frida!

Early this afternoon, after enjoying the nearby Chicano Park Vive! lowrider event, I continued walking along Logan Avenue to check out Viva La Frida!

The sidewalks were full of people experiencing the colors, tastes, sounds and smells of the several blocks long festival. There was music, and lowriders, and families, and friendship, and plenty of tasty Mexican food, and lots of art on display, and vendors whose tables overflowed with Frida-themed wares. A traditional Día de los Muertos altar for Frida Kahlo honored the artist’s life.

I can only wonder what Frida would think if her spirit did indeed approach the altar and she was able to view this largely commercial event, and the endless variations of her self portraits everywhere people turn.

As I ambled along I noticed some new street murals on Logan Avenue that appear fairly new, and other street art that I’ve apparently missed during past walks. I’ll have to return in the near future, perhaps when the crowds enjoying the Viva La Frida celebration have departed and my camera has a better look.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!