photo from Mary Jane Gagnier
I am sad to say a well known and really good Oaxacan artist died suddenly on Mar 8 at his home at La Mano Magica in Oaxaca. He was a innovative weaver, an internationally recognized painter and printmaker whose scope extended beyond most of his contemporaries. Born in Teotitlan del Valle in one of the most renown weaving families he started weaving around 8 years of age. He later went to the art university in Oaxaca, Bellas Artes. He and his first wife, Mary Jane, founded La Mano Magica, one of the first galleries to present fine art, folk art and textiles in the same gallery. I remember such great openings of shows there and the comradery of other artists, Arnulfo, Mary Jane and all their staff and friends. La Mano Magica is still one of the best galleries in Oaxaca.
I like this photo of Arnulfo weaving and probably making a joke, laughing. It reminds me of all the times I stopped in to La Mano and found him and his other weavers like Tito Mendoza working in the patio of the old building. We had lots of laughs together. I learned much about the mythic and historical beginnings of his dear pueblo, Teotitlan del Valle.
Sudden deaths are so hard to deal with whether one is close by in Oaxaca, or like me, now in Oregon, far away. An old friend gone on to live in the stars or be reborn in Teotitlan del Valle as they believe there beneath Gi'bets.