Last weekend I visited Alfonso Lorenzo — one of the greatest of the amate painters — in a Cuernavaca mental hospital. Life in rural Mexico can be tough. Did you know that Alfonso spent several years of his life chained to a wall, and by his relatives? I asked one compatriot what he thought of this, and received (roughly) the following answer:
Yes, it is sad. But we have people chained to the wall in most of our villages.
In fairness, if he were not chained to the wall he might well be in jail. Did I mention that your relatives have to bring your food and the jail is several hours away?
Here are his unique amates. Yes one is of a naked woman but rest assured it is true art, I believe it is office-safe. My favorite is the stations of the cross picture. You’ll be hearing more about Alfonso soon.