03.15 – Puerta en Juarez: Studies in Closeup Abstraction

Don Bergland
University of Victoria

This is a gated area on Calle Benito Juarez. It has existed as a gate into a deserted area of land for years. I’ve never seen anyone use this gate. It is an old magnificent example of ironwork, painted, and left to weather the climate for years. When one moves closer to this structure, one can start to experience the rhythms, lines, and patterns, etched in the surface of metal and stone. Its slightly pink color blends with the setting sun to produce an epiphany of gated oblivion, a portent against the excesses of unrestricted eternity.

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02-15 – Pared de Ladrillo: An Exploration in Urban Abstraction

Don Bergland
University of Victoria

On Calle Galeana in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico, close to the highway, is a wall, one half brick, the other half a smooth plastered surface. The wall is painted as a unity, taking no account of the rough brick and the flat plaster. As a result, one gets a feeling as if the wall is continuous, but upon further examination, discovers the rather startling difference in textures. The brick side of the wall (left side), has some very interesting deterioration and fragmentation of the painted surface, revealing the underpainted history of the wall. And then, of course, as one walks closer, and begins to initiate a close up examination, the world of crumbling masonry, peeling paint, and abstract fantasy is revealed. Another instance of the deep and exotic world of Mexican urban landscape.

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01-15 – Galeana: Studies in Street Abstraction

Don Bergland
University of Victoria

Down one of the side streets in Bucerias, on Calle Galeana, is a very interesting set of stairs connected with the sidewalk. To the casual observer, these are simply a strangely unorthodox method of travelling from one sidewalk level to another. But for those who stop, and examine this set of stairs, a full theatrical presentation of color, form, texture, and deep historical context await discovery. Stop, and walk around these stairs. Note the interesting set of four red squares that inset two of the stair platforms, the red color of the stair risers, and the bounding yellow paint. And, as one moves closer, one must be impressed with the deep cracks, textures, overpainting, and historical narratives that unfold as the world of Calle Galeana disappears into the theatre of the residing stair platform.

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04-12 – Imagenes Urbanas: A Study in Street Abstraction

Don Bergland
University of Victoria

Like all Mexican towns, Bucerias, Nayarit, is a repository of Urban Abstract Imagery. It is there to be found, right beneath your very feet. Just walk around the town. But remember to keep your head down, right down. Keep your eyes fastened to the aesthetic interstices of sidewalk and wall. Don’t take your gaze off that mystical passageway for a second. Focus your sight on the combinations of colors, the interfacing of textures, and the composition of line, light, shadow, and shape. Every single step along a sidewalk in Mexico brings you a new universe of abstract imagery. Just keep walking. Just keep your eyes in that cosmic groove.

 

03-12 – Helechos: An Exploration in Closeup Abstraction

Don Bergland
University of Victoria

Across the field from our villa, on the corner of Calle Javier Mina in Bucerias, Mexico, we can view Restaurant Helechos (Image 1). It quietly spends its days waiting for customers to tread its red stairs and enter its cool interior. How many feet have climbed these steps on their way in? To the casual observer, these are only steps up the road and into the restaurant. They are functional concrete shapes assisting one’s ascent up the hill (Image 2). But to the connoiseur they offer a full course of abstract textural combinations: stone planted in the earth, reclusive shadows on cracks, and peeling red paint over dusty concrete. But this vision does not come easily. You need to get off the sidewalk and crouch down (Image 3). Now look at the dynamic new world starting to appear in front of you. Lie on the ground. Push your face into the dust of the stairs (Image 4, 5). Now you’re getting it. With your face brushing the steps, gaze deeply at those amazing combinations of texture, color, form, and shape (Images 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10). Don’t stop now. There is more. With this feast of visual pleasure, you don’t need to go in for dinner. The nourishment is out here, on the steps.

 

02-12 – Naranja Pared: Abstract Closeup Studies

Don Bergland
University of Victoria

There is a dominant orange wall at the intersection of Calle Javier Mina and Cardenas in Bucerias, Mexico (Image 1). It effortlessly absorbs the sun and heat throughout the litany of hot coastal days comprising its existence. These wall striate the environment in Bucerias. To the casual observer, they are but long flat surfaces, blocking one area from another (Image 2). But to the connoiseur they serve up a spectrum of abstract textural combinations: plaster integrations with earth, abandoned shadows on surfaces, and small canyons torn from forgotten fissures. But this new experience does not come easily. You have to move closer to the wall (Image 3). Now look at the new universe starting to appear in front of you. Get down on your knees. Push your face closer. I mean really close (Image 4, 5). That’s better. Now, with your face touching the environment, start looking at those amazing combinations of texture, color, form, and shape (Images 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10). Keep going. There is more. The wall runs all the way to the beach and you have all afternoon ahead of you.

 

01-12 – Portal Verde: Studies in Street Abstraction

Don Bergland
University of Victoria

A green door opening on a town street in Bucerias, Mexico (Image 1). These doors are everywhere. Hundreds of them up and down every street in every Mexican town. They offer the closeup connoiseur the full specturm of the street set: multiple creases, inner and outer corners and luscious corner composites. But to experience this, we have to move a bit closer (Image 2). Look at the new dimensions that start opening up. But we are not yet close enough. Let’s abandon propriety and squat down. Get your face into the doorway. I mean really close (Image 3). That’s better. Now, with your face breathing the dust of the pavement, start looking at those amazing combinations of texture, color, form, and shape (Images 4, 5, and 6). If you keep looking, you’ll quickly become lost in the new universe of abstraction that comprises the structure of this green doorway.”