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...





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:



  1. Hey! How are you?
    My name is Sebastian Díaz, I'm a flim student from México, and I'm in hte process to make a short film documentary of Don Porfirio. Iwas wondering if I can use this photographs as stock material for the documentary and also in a pre production file that I need to do in order to make this possible, I can also give you info about Don Porfirio, I have been doing investigation for the doumentary and I used to live in Toluca.

    Let me know what you think and if you accept my offer, thank you!

    1. Hi Sebastian! I just saw your message. Sure thing I'd be happy for you to use these photos. I'd love to find out more about what your film finds out about him and what happened to Don Porfirio. Is he still on the streets of Toluca? You can also email me at 04.48am at gmail dot com

  2. Hello Debbie -

    I came across your blog post as I was doing research on the artist named Don Porfirio.

    I noticed the commenter above (Mr. Díaz Studios) is working on a film about the artist. I'm wondering if then film has been made? Thank you!

    Thanks very much and thank you for the photographs,

    Peter Murray