Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Don Porfirio - El Senor de la Bestias

On our first day in Toluca, I noticed this face on a wall. And then it just kept reappearing...

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We were told that the artist of the faces was a homeless man in Toluca known as the Don Porfirio / Lord of the Beasts (El Senor de la Bestia) and he had been drawing these faces around Toluca along with a rambling political text for some time. He was frequently seen with his many dogs following him, hence the beasts, and I wish I knew how to speak spanish because we eventually met the man himself on the street in front of Los Portales... He asked me where I was from. I said Singapore, but then he asked me to list some other cities and went off on a tangent about the China and eventually Vietnam War. Due to my poor (ie: nonexistent) Spanish I did not know what he was going on about...

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To be honest when I was first told that the place where we had been standing at was "Los Portales", I thought of "lost portals" like these were gateways to mysterious places elsewhere. I also wondered why he asked me to name some other random cities near Singapore. Perhaps it was all the same to him, whatever country I might be from did not really matter. Or perhaps it is all the same to him, all the countries have evil people in them that need fighting against, that there will always be stories to be told and drawn in the countries. Or perhaps there is no complex story, this is just the mad ravings of an artistically inclined homeless man in Toluca. Who knows? Its amazing to find his drawings in small corners, on walls, everywhere in Toluca...

Another mystery is the stereotypical asian features of the characters. Although I could not seem to find out from him why they looked asian, and some others told me he was not drawing asians but the stereotypical small mexican person, this one in particular seems to suggest that he is infact consciously drawing a chinese character because he writes "Chinese Monk" on top of this one drawing:

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