27 September 2007

Letter to Jose Luis Cuevas

Part I

Dear Jose Luis,
Without knowing it you had always been a part of my life. As a very small child I saw your drawings and exhibitions. It was as if they were made by a friend. Your style of drawing was as familiar to me as any of my toys. My parents, but mainly my mother had a nearly blind admiration for you and your work. In many ways my life touched yours and you never ever felt that.
I remember so clearly when you declared you were leaving Mexico permanently for Paris. We all thought it was a stunt. And probably it was because about one year after your were back in your San Angel house with your flat-studio on top of it. I think you kept your Paris apartment, in case you changed your mind. We thought to big for Mexico, to small for Paris.

Something that I often remember and still makes me wonder very often is that you said you took a photograph of yourself everyday. It was then an absolute "extravaganza" as many things you did. How could any one photograph and draw himself every day? How could any one be such a narcissist? Every body (my family) thought it was crazy, acceptable crazy, cute crazy to do it. But strange. For me it was different, I probably though that it was a normal thing, that secretly that was something I wanted to do myself. At that time I bought my first camera -I paid a bit more than 110 pesos with my bank savings, it was my first big expenditure in my life-. I would have loved to do as you said, I don't know if you actually took a photograph every day. But unluckily I was not rich (and also I was to young -about 7 years old-) to be so luxurious, as I thought of it then.

Still, I was the only one around my family with a camera, except my uncle Miguel Angel and his son my cousin Mayco who is many years older than me. I recorded sparsely a few events of our lives.
Then a neighbour would print cheaply in black and white and at home my photographs. I loved to see the paper result. I don't have any of those photos. All gone. Unfortunately I am a bit of a mover and to be like that I had to leave back all my -objects- past. Otherwise I probably would have everything from that time and nothing else, I am afraid.
Who would have thought then that now every child, every person can make as many photos as they want a day, and they do! People take self portrait photos every day without thinking of it. I do still love taking pictures.
I am on camera number 8. The original Kodak of 110 pesos, actually a very simple camera with an expensive cube that could take four flashes and then you threw it away. Number two a K1000 when I was 16, was a for very long a favorite, bought by my father as recommended by El Cuyo a friend from school. This reflex camera was with me in many important times of my life. Then I found a good pocket camera that I lost as I found it after few years. After I bought a better pocket one that I thought it will accompany me for long.
But digital cameras were getting better and in 2002 I had finally my Sony with 3 million pixels! My husband complaints that since then I never print anything, it is in a big way true. I make more photos but in fact I have less.
Now I have of course the super pocket and the good one.
But the one camera that always makes me think of you is the one of my computer, my Photo Booth, where nearly every day a make a photo of me.
And what do I do with all my photos my friends constantly ask...?
One of the reasons is that I keep a record, just as you did in the 70's. And the other one is that I think of you and I think of my childhood, with no images. If I could compensate...

You are present in my life and you still don't know it.

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