Friday, May 16, 2008

Marcos y Molduras - Frames and Moldings

My art teacher told me about a place for inexpensive, but not cheap, frames. The prices are as low as the place on Ezq. Montes I found a few weeks back, but the place is a real frame shop (they do all the work there and have all the equipment and materials). Most frame shops here are very expensive. They also have a collection of paintings including water colors, some of which are very nice. After I talked to the lady (wife of the owner) about costs, I checked out the paintings; and ended up talking quite a bit with owner, Raúl Chavez, no relation.

It turns out the shop is mainly a place for the students from his school, and that is why things are less expensive. After I noted that I liked one of the watercolorists in his collection (turns out the guy died 3 months ago, so he is no longer teaching, or painting, for that matter), Raúl mentioned that he was at one time in Diego Rivera’s circle. I mentioned that Niels had a connection to that circle through Siquieros, so the guy took me a little more seriously. He currently has a Siquieros that belonged to a president, and the family is now selling off his stuff. I need to find out which president. Mexicans would never ask, but I can get away with it since I am a bold, brash gringo. I think it sold for $100,000 MN and had been part of a mural from the school the president attended.

He also just sold a possible Rembrandt which he had taken to the Rembrandt museum in Holland for authentication. C-14 showed it was the right age, it was from his workshop, but it is impossible to prove it was painted by him and not by a student. The museum has run into problems attributing paintings and is now very gun shy. I think that that one went for $1,000,000 MN, because now it is just an old picture, although it may be one of several "lost" Rembrandts, a self portrait!

He also showed me a Chucho Reyes and told me the story of the painter. In the late nineteenth century, Chucho’s (not El Roto) parents imported stuff from the orient and wrapped it in rice paper which they also bought from the orient. He used to paint on the paper, and then his parents would use the paper to wrap things and fill empty space in boxes. Most people threw the packing paper away, but some recognized it as real art. Later he became a fairly well known artist, travelled the world and exhibited in Mexico City where he had a uniquely decorated house. His rice paper paintings now start at $20,000 MN and look like they could have been done today. They are very modern. Google Chucho Reyes on the internet. And click on "Liga a la galeria" at to see some other pix.

It seems Raúl knows all the major collectors in the Queretaro area, and just calls one or two people when something special comes in, and it sells in a day or two. Paintings might be available for viewing while he is framing them, but not for long. I asked to be put on his e-mail list to be notified, but since things sell so fast, I may never get to see any of them.

If I could get him to sell my stuff I would have it made since he seems to be held in high regard by local artists and collectors. But the quality of the artists he represents is really a bit beyond me, at least for the next 15 to 20 years.

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