Paul Latoures | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Paul Latoures

My friend Paul Latoures is a photographer, an artist of considerable merit whose work is grossly underappreciated on account of his antipathy for self promotion. Every Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 PM Paul and I eat comida together, spending a couple of hours in rambling conversation that only two fellows afflicted by ADHD could enjoy.

I walked up to his house today for a visit.

Paul is sort of a troglodyte who lives at the far end of a mysterious tunnel just off the Salida de Querétaro. Thousands of people winding down the old highway from Querétaro pass by Paul's tunnel every day, and many no doubt wonder where it leads. But it is narrow, very steep, and mysterious, so few have the courage to explore.

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Paul's house hangs precipitously on the hillside. From his aerie, he follows his muse and engages in combat with his neighbors. Of all the people I have met in San Miguel, Paul had been in jail more often, has been involved in lawsuits the most frequently. I think he likes it that way.

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From high above the town, Paul looks out on a spectacular western view (to which this photo does no justice). The town spreads out below him. In the distance the rugged Guanajuato Mountains rise. Seasonally, huge flocks of migrating birds string out against the sky. In the rainy season, spectacular lightning shows fill the wall of his living room. Views perfect for stimulating great art.

I found Paul lying in his bedroom, watching the U. S. Open on TV.

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Homes with views like Paul's, if they are located a quarter mile to the north in Los Balcones, are worth millions. But situated on the gritty Salida de Querétaro, Paul's house ain't worth squat. Location, location, location. He wants to sell it, but despairs because it doesn't meet the profile prospective residents are looking for; i. e., an authentic colonial within two flat blocks of the Jardín (main square).

OK. Maybe I'm being a little harsh. His house is worth squat. But not much more than squat.

Last Wednesday, Paul arrived at our table at the Villa Santa Monica lugging a camera, tripod and a whole lot of film. As I sat contemplating my Chiles en Nogada, Paul pointed the camera in my direction and shot a couple hundred images, panning up and down, side to side, in a raster scan. Oooooh—Kayyy...

Today's visit was to view the product of his efforts.

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Paul has named it "Miercoles a los dos." Wednesday at two.

I won't insult you all with my pathetic engineer's feeble attempts at criticism, except to say that it overwhelms me. Paul has made about fifty of these... what do you call them... photomontages? A wide varitey of subjects: A blind beggar in a colonial doorway, a sparkling new concrete truck, a triptych of Tomás Horn's new baby girl. I especially liked three works depicting El Gato Negro, The Black Cat, a bar unmatched for its grubbiness. They're part of a series Paul calls "Sacred San Miguel."

I include this picture of Paul standing next to his work to provide a sense of scale. It's about 5' X 4'.

Paul is the one on the left.

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"Miercoles a los dos" is a perfect image of the lunches Paul and I share: disjoint, non-linear conversation that somehow coalesces into a vaguely coherent whole.
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