Monumental Art | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Monumental Art

What makes great cities even greater is public art, often in the form of statuary commemorating important figures or events. Part of the allure of old European cities—or Mexican ones—is the sight of a statue of an officer riding a rearing horse, or a Rococo fountain with gamboling nymphs and spouting dolphins. Having grown up in the burbs, something in me longs for a sense of age, of history, of roots.

We have such art in San Miguel de Allende.

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Above, for example, we have Father San Miguel bringing light to a heathen Indian, offering the poor savage succor and comfort.

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And here, we have General Ignacio Allende, the man who is credited with starting Mexico's fight for independence from Spain.

These two figures are the namesakes of our city: San Miguel de Allende.

In modern times, we've somehow lost our way. In San Francisco, we have the eyesore known as the Vaillancourt Fountain. How we managed to allow a mistake of this magnitude to happen is beyond me. But it's indicative of a disturbing trend.

In San Miguel, we don't have the money to create new civic art on the scale of the Vaillancourt Fountain. But that doesn't mean we don't get our share of the fevered delusions of alleged art experts scattered here and there.

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I mean, what the hell is this? Give up? OK. Here's the plaque giving its name.

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How this work represents oral fertilization is beyond me. It's certainly not the thought that came to my mind when I first looked at it.

In fact, I have to ask, "What is oral fertilization?"

It's really not something you want to think about too much.

Another statue in the series of which Oral Fertilization is a part would perhaps bear that name more appropriately.

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