Sunday, November 11, 2007

Las Pozas - The "surreal" world of Edward James

Have you ever been somewhere and wanted to share it with friends through words and photos but both were inadequate to describe what you have seen? Well that is my feeling about Las Pozas. Living in this surreal country of Mexico - this is the ultimate in surrealness! My photos don't do it justice - check out Billie Mercer's site - and you will see PURE ARTISTRY of this place. Or, if you decide you want to know more, just put into your search engine - Edward James or Las Pozas Mexico or go to Ok, now on to my attempt to share this incredible place with you. Edward James was an eccentric, extremely wealthy Englishman who discovered Xilitla and declared it the most beautiful place on earth after he had traveled extensively all over the world - I tend to agree with him. It has wild parrots, wild orchids, waterfalls, bromeliads almost the size of cars and zillions of butterflies among other things and luckily, it is still there! Edward wanted to be a surrealist and mentored and supported many surrealist, Dali, Millet, Leonora Carrington (who is still alive in Mexico) and many, many others. There was recently an exhibit at the Tate in London of his works and many other surrealists. Today Edward would also be known as an "outsider" artist.
He spent 30 years and close to $30 million US dollars creating this world that we now get to enjoy. His intention was to create places so wild animals could live on the grounds and to create concrete structures that looked like giant flowers so they would never die - a simplistic explanation. Smithsonian magazine did a fabulous article on Las Pozas and Edward James about 15 years ago which is much deeper in explanation...........Las Pozas was not finished at the time of Edward's death in the late 1980's but it HAS held up well to the encroachment of the jungle.

This was my second visit to Las Pozas and again, as I climbed around and through these structures and grounds, I felt like Alice in Wonderland. I must admit that 10 years ago I scampered, this time I walked VERY carefully. It is hard from the photos to get the scale of these structures so I have included this one picture that shows the people climbing on it. It must be close to forty feet high, if not more.

As you are walking through the jungle of Las Pozas, the sound of the waterfall is everpresent and adds another dimension to the experience. If this place were easier to get to and more readily accessible to the public, as Watts Tower is in LA, it would be probably have been destroyed by tourists.
So, Edward James was looking for paradise, and in my estimation found and enhanced it! I hope you've enjoyed coming along with me on this journey of discover and surrealism.


Gypsy Girl said...

I've read a lot about the surrreal world of Edward James and hope to visit it this winter. Thanks for this great post. said...

The hands are my "hands down" favorite of his work. Nice photos.

Margaret said...

Nice post on Las Pozas. My book on Las Pozas has just come out in spanish. You can check info on both editions on my website and they are available on amazon.

zhotograph said...

Las Pozas is now an app for the iPhone & iPad:

Babs said...

Thanks - I just saw that my photos are blocked on the post! Strange. I don't have an Iphone or those devices, but perhaps some that are reading this do.
One of the great environments in the world is Las Pozas!