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Art Print Description:

I love historic old architecture. The craftsmanship of these old buildings and how they are adapted to the places they are built always fascinates me. So, I have to admit when I stood on this corner across from the old Templo y Convento de San Agustín in Oaxaca, my first thought was was wishing I had an unobscured view of the old church. It was a momentary thought, though because as I surveyed the scene before me, I quickly realized just what a beautiful view of Mexican culture was before me. From the brightly colored piñata to the market and the historic church beyond, it was Mexico in a microcosm.

I visited Oaxaca for a couple of days between Christmas and King’s Day (or the Epiphany), a festive period which explains the colorful and large piñata. There were, in fact, piñatas all over Oaxaca, hanging over all the intersections of the historic city core. It was definitely an interesting taste of Mexican culture seeing the celebration of the Christmas season as well as New Year’s Eve. But the market and the church in this print are an essentially eternal view of Mexican Culture. Every city I’ve visited so far had various markets that met on various days of the week. And it wasn’t uncommon for them to be in the plaza adjacent to an old church. The neighborhoods of so many old Mexican cities are laid out around one church or another. It’s not uncommon for the neighborhood and the church to share their names.

I’m not sure if that was the case for this little barrio in Oaxaca or not, but the old church beyond it has a long history dating back to the 16th century when it was built as a church and convent for the followers of Saint Augustine. The convent has closed down and the historic church and its convent now belong to an orphanage. It’s a beautiful old Spanish baroque church that’s very much shaped by the local environment. Note the absence of towers or domes. The area is prone to earthquakes and the old convent was built without those vulnerable structures.

I’m so glad I let that first thought fly from my mind. The architecture of the old church is compelling no doubt, but no less compelling than the people that live on the streets around it. This little slice of Mexican Culture in the end is an artwork I find more compelling for the sense of life in Mexico than simply the stonework could ever be.

Have you visited the markets in Oaxaca? Perhaps stood across from this very church? Or maybe you simply love the vibrant sense of life capture in this Mexican Culture art print? I hope you might take a moment to share what captures your attention most in this Mexican print?

Note: Much of the historic core of Oaxaca is part of a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site due to the wealth of well preserved Spanish colonial architecture there.

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    About Me

    I’m Mark Tisdale, a Georgia artist whose journey started with a love of travel and a desire to capture the beautiful places I saw. It’s a path that has changed my life in ways I never would have imagined. I feel quite fortunate to spend my days doing something I love. I have been working as an artist for over a decade and I have supported myself as a full time artist for eight years and counting.

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