Sunday, 2 March 2014

A fiesta of Mexican benches


¡Hola mis amigos!  

It's getting near Cinco de Mayo so I thought we ought to celebrate Mexican independence by looking at some of the amazing benches of México.






Mexican benches are bright and brilliant.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/amycgx/

You can find a seat anywhere.



Although if you can't find a seat, you should try to sit in the shade of a cactus.




To help me out I have two friends from south of the border. Although that depends where you live, obviously. If you live in Scotland, then England is south of the border. 

In Worcester you'd be unlikely to see benches like this.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/mytravelphotos/
Or this.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/18706689@N04/


You'd be more likely to see this kind of thing.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/34517490@N00/

Anyway, here are my friends, Friego Rahlo and his beautiful wife Drida Kivera on a bench in Guadalajara.







Friego and Drida bear a resemblance to a pair of well known artists; you may recognise them. 


www.etsy.com/shop/kilkennycatart

They are sometimes referred to as The Delicate Frog and the Fat Dove. I'll leave you to decide which is which. 

Friego: Muchas gracias for the introduction, Seashell. But Cinco de Mayo is in May. Not March.


www.etsy.com/shop/TheQuirkyQuail


Golly, I guess I've got March and May mixed up. 

Drida: Doesn't the Spanish word Mayo give you a clue?

Friego: It sounds altogether different from the Spanish word Marzo

Oh, well, never mind. Let's look at the Mexican benches anyway. There are no finer benches in the world! 

They are blazing with colour . . . 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/mlf/

. . . and beauty


http://www.flickr.com/photos/rickruppenthal/


. . . and wit.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/benmiller23/  

There are parks full of gorgeous benches.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/santheo/

There are simple benches in villages where people sit quietly in the shade.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/alaig/
There are even toilet benches.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/

Drida: Why are you showing toilet benches? Are you comparing Mexico to a toilet?

No, not at all. I'm simply saying there are many kinds of benches in México

Wherever you are in México, as if by magic, a bench will appear.




Drida: In 
México, the magician turns himself into a bench.

That's convenient. No wonder there are so many benches around.

Friego: There is a whole dialogue of benches in México City: Diálogo de Bancas.

Oh, is that what it means! I thought it was a dialogue with a bank.

Drida: Don't be estúpido. Who wants to talk to a bank?

I guess these pairs of benches are having a dialogue then. 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/ann-dabney/

I wonder what they're talking about? 

Maybe robbing a bank?


©pamela silin palmer 1985

Drida: México is a modern country. We don't do Frito Bandito.

Friego: We don't do stereotypes of Mexico.

What, like this?




Friego: Exactement. 

I notice that you're wearing the traditional Tehuana dress though, Drida. 



https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/UneekDollDesigns

Drida: Of course. I am keeping my culture. Tradition is very important in art and in life.

You look sooooo cute in this dress, Drida! 

Drida:  'Cute' is Gringolandia. I have no interest in cute.  

Friego: In this Tehuana dress Drida is the personalification of all Mexican glory.

My best friend Miggy couldn't resist seeing if she could glorify Mexico by wearing a Tehuana dress. And somehow she roped my husband Mungo into joining her.





I must say, I have never seen Miggy looking so slender. Must be the Mexican diet.

Or the relaxed way of life.




México is glorious alright. It's full of bright coloured mosaics . . . 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/krobinson/


and adobe.



Drida: You are too traditional, Seashell. You need to turn your thinking upside down.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/schnappi/

Friego: In Mexico City you'll see some very clever bench designs along the Paseo de la Reforma. It's a special avenue dedicated to street art. 

High art?


http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaundicedferret/


Friego: Art of all kinds. There are seventy-one benches designed by different artists and sculptors. 

Seventy-one! I guess you could do a bench crawl along the Reforma and sit in all of them? 

Kind of like a pub crawl, only sitting down. 



http://www.flickr.com/photos/b_g/

Driego: The Paseo de la Reforma runs for miles. Frida Kahlo's Blue House is in Coyoacán, at one end of the Reforma. 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/karavan/

I wonder why it's called The Blue House?


http://www.flickr.com/photos/karavan/

But seventy-one benches! After sitting on all those you'd feel like a shadow of your former self.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/srzrocio/

Drida: This blog is diabólico. Just show the bancas so I can get on with  plucking my eyebrows. 

Sorry, Drida. It's just that benches are HUGE in México


http://www.flickr.com/photos/schnappi/

Drida: With these puns I am losing the will to live.

No wonder. There seems to be an obsession with death in México


http://www.flickr.com/photos/srzrocio/

Friego: In the ancient Mexican sense, death means both rebirth and life because we understand death as a transition to a new kind of life. 

Drida: Like the magician who transforms himself into a bench. 





So, he used to be a guy but now he's a bench? Makes sense to me. 

Does a bench ever become a woman?

Friego: Here's one from the Calle Regina. A very nice looking woman.




Drida: The woman is clinging to the bench in an interesting way. But this does not mean you should have an affair with her, Friego.

Friego: We are here for art, Drida. Nothing was further from my mind.

You are a very attractive hombre though, Friego. No wonder so many women fall for you.



https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/UneekDollDesigns


Friego: I am a red-blooded Mexican man who likes to have love affairs. If women throw themselves at me, what can I do?

This bench called El Affair is just for you then.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/c_x/ 

Drida: You are an idiota, Seashell. Maybe you are falling for him too?

But Drida, I have heard that you had love affairs with lots of people, both men and women.

Drida: That is none of your business. 

It's just that many of your painting are self-portraits, so we know a lot about your private life. 

For example we know how you felt when you and Friego got divorced.

Your painting is such a graphic and emotional illustration of your pain.



https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/UneekDollDesigns



Friego: That was a long time ago, Seashell. Do you think we could finish looking at the benches on the Reforma now?

Sorry, Friego but after looking at seventy-one benches on the Reforma I'm feeling something like this fellow.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/garydenness/

Drida: It's not the benches that have killed him. He has been reading this blog and he is dead from boredom. 

Friego:  Skeletons are part of life in México. They are as important as music and painting and love. 



www.thrillomatic.com 


Well, dead or alive, México is a very romantic place.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/sergiokasusky/


And I notice that a lot of the benches are in pairs. 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/b_g/

Friego: Sí, because a banca is a place where people sit together and talk and fall in love. 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/b_g/

Friego and Drida are so much in love that they have been married twice. Here is their wedding picture the first time.



www.etsy.com/shop/artnacky

And here is their wedding picture the second time. 



www.etsy.com/shop/BonesNelson

Looks like marriage takes its toll. 

But the churches in México are so beautiful that you can see why people might want to get married more than once.


photo courtesy of www.justwalkedby.com

Drida: This is absurdo. Who cares how many times we get married?

OK, fair enough, Drida. Let's look at this bench of you and Friego in the garden.





Friego: We need to finish up the Mexican benches. I know someone who can give us a hand here.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/gabofr/

Drida: We met him in Cancun and became compadres.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/broc7/

I see this bench has some of the flora of México.

Drida: Yes, flora and fauna are important in Mexican art. I always include them in my work.

Friego: Drida is very fond of animals. We have many monkeys as pets. 



www.etsy.com/shop/craftykathleen

I've read that the monkey is a symbol of lust in Mexican mythology.

Friego: Frida often paints herself with birds and parrots.


www.etsy.com/shop/HeatherGallerArt

I've read that in Hindu imagery parrots are bearers of the love god Kama so in México they are erotic symbols. 

Drida: In México everything is erotic. But you are ignorante. These animals are companions of my solitude.

Sorry, Drida. I didn't realise.

Friego: This monkey fellow we met was particularly friendly. He's an editor apparently. 

And he knows a lot about benches.

This sounds all too familiar. I'm beginning to feel sick . . . 





No! Please, not Eddie! He's a real thorn in my side.


©pamela silin palmer 1985

Eddie: ¡Hola, Seashell! You should call me Eduardo now. In México, I have spread my artistic wings.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/liopic/6234755874/


Drida: A monkey with wings! I love this idea!


www.etsy.com/shop/SandraSilberzweig

Drida: Maybe Eduardo will bring some colour into this dull blog. 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/mexicanwave/


Eddie: I've got my holiday photos with me.

Please, Eddie, I beg you. No holiday photos. 



http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimg944/

This is a blog about benches, not about sitting on steps.

Eddie:  I see a window of opportunity here. 



http://www.flickr.com/photos/c_x/


Drida: I love this glass bench with its little squares to peek through. 

Yes, Mexican benches aren't all rustic woody things. 



http://www.flickr.com/photos/eplewis/

I'd like to iron out some of these misconceptions.

¿ Aren't Mexican benches brillante?



http://www.flickr.com/photos/linkogecko/

Eddie, I know you are showing off your knowledge of Spanish grammar by highlighting this upside down question mark. But the thing is, we're using English here, so this is incorrect.

Eddie: I am merely trying to bring some colour and authenticity into this dull story. 

Friego: Thank you, Eduardo. A block of colour will be very welcome.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/tejedoro_de_luz/


Eddie: Here is a bench on the Reforma. As you know, I'm something of an authority on red benches.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/b_g/

Drida: Bravo, Eduardo! This is fabuloso!

Eddie: Here's a polka dot tree in La Paz. And some benches. 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/

Drida:  Espléndido! That's more like it.

Eddie: Here is a flying bird happy eyebrow bentwood bench from Baja.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/

Drida: I am known for my flying bird happy eyebrows. 

Here is a traditional mosaic bench I saw in Papantla. It kind of comes together like your eyebrows, Drida. 



Drida: It's me at my best.


www.etsy.com/shop/HeatherGallerArt


And now a touch of playfulness will bring this blog to life I think.  Here I am on the Reforma in a game of poker . . . 



http://www.flickr.com/photos/srzrocio/

Friego: You've dealt us a good hand here, Eduardo. 

Drida: You are maravilloso. 

Drida, mi amiga. Here is a whimsical bench to make you smile.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/muyyum/

Drida: You are so amusing, Eduardo! You are music to my ears.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/quitepeculiar/

Friego:  Muy bien, Eduardo! You have made my Drida happy. 

Drida: My darling little monkey, like the magician who converts himself into a bench you have transformed my spirits.

Well, I guess I am redundant now. Eddie has taken over my Mexican benches and Drida and Friego seem to prefer him. So I have two choices:

1)   I can sit down on a magic bench and think things through.


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mago-Silla.jpg


2)  I can set sail for another country and start again. 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/

The good news is that Eddie has decided to stay in Mexico. This should stop him from taking over my blog.

But meanwhile, Drida and Friego have moved to Paradise Island and set up house in La Casa Amarilla.    



Somehow I don't think Paradise Island will ever be the same. 

Credits

There are several images in this blog from my favourite Mexican sculptor, Alejandro Colunga (born in 1948 in Guadalajara.) A theme of Colunga's work is the magician (mago) who turns himself in a bench; there are many of these throughout Mexico. The first photo is Colunga's stunning blue fan magician.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Silla-Colunga-Sentado.jpg   Later in the post there is a bronze version of a fanhead magician who has birds on his broad shoulders and lots of tiny feet    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sillon-colunga.jpg   In yet another version, the magician has melted into a bench so that very little is left of his head.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Banca--AColunga.jpg    There are also, throughout Mexico, many sculptures which Colunga calls chairs (silla). A group of these intriguing sculptures is on the Malecon at Puerto Vallarta. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PV_Colunga.jpg   Finally, the Colunga bench at the end of the story is the Magic Seat, at  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mago-Silla.jpg

Amy Goodman lives in Portland, Oregon. Her bench against the yellow wall is from her gorgeous set Walls, Doors and Colours of San Miguel, taken on her trip to Mexico in 2007. http://www.flickr.com/photos/amycgx/  In her profile Amy quotes Lewis Hine: "If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera."   

Jasperdo lives in Camano Island, Washington. A retired letter carrier, Jasperdo now enjoys travelling and taking pictures. His picture is the silver mining town of Copala in the Sierra Madre Mountains near Mazatlan. Jasperdo describes it as a well preserved colonial town full of cobblestone streets, numerous historic building and a small central plaza and he says it's well worth a visit.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/mytravelphotos/with/3365870597/ 


David Schroeder is a retired clinical psychologist, now a curator of The Photographers' Gallery in Modesto, California. His travel sets capture the vibrant colours of life around the world, including Central and South America. His benches against the yellow wall were taken in 2013 at Bernal, Queretaro de Arteaga. http://www.flickr.com/photos/18706689@N04/

The photograph of the bench toilet comes from the collection of GIZ in Germany, who is responsible for the secretariat of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA). The urine diversion dehydration toilets (UDDTs) were photographed by staff members and other contributors to the group. A photostream showing their good work is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/   For a short history of bench toilets click here.   

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) is one of Mexico's best known and best loved artists. Mungo and I were among the 340,000 who visited the exhibition of her work at Tate Modern in 2005. Throughout her life she painted vivid folk art, portraits and surrealist art based on Mexican themes such as The Day of the Dead skeletons and skulls, flora, fauna and events from her own life. Of her 140+ paintings, 55 are self portraits. Influenced by her Mexican culture, the paintings use bright colours, dramatic symbolism and a primitive folk style to convey both despair and a love of life.  

Throughout her life Frida was plagued by ill health and pain caused by polio as a child and then a bus accident when she was a teenager. In 1929 she married Diego Rivera, a famous artist and mural painter who admired and encouraged her work. They were an unlikely match, known as The Delicate Dove and the Fat Frog. Both Frida and Diego had numerous affairs with other people and their troubled marriage ended in 1939. Though they were remarried the following year, they lived apart much of the time in connected apartments at La Casa Azul (The Blue House), where Frida was born and died. The Blue House in Coyoacan is now a much-photographed museum to their life and work. 

Frida Kahlo inspired all sorts of creative work. The amazing Flickr Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera group is at http://www.flickr.com/groups/fridakahlo/pool/with/1524276/    There are also thousands of Frida and Diego-inspired works on etsy.

The picture of Drida and Friego in Guadalajara is from the amazing best-ever adult colouring book Fantastic Cities, by Steve McDonald. 

The picture of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera with cats and skeleton heads is a brilliant work by Ryan Conners at Kilkenny Cat Art. Strangely, Ryan isn't in Kilkenny; he's in Pennsylvania. And he has the most hilarious and wonderful Cat Art I've seen for a long time. His etsy shop is at www.etsy.com/shop/kilkennycatart  If you like cats, you'll be surprised how many purrfect cat benches are around. 

The Cinco de mayo Fiesta poster is from Kirsten Carroll at The Quirky Quail in Sydney.  www.etsy.com/shop/TheQuirkyQuail   Kirsten is a graphic designer and stay-at-home mum who makes wildly colourful and festive party printables, photo booth props and home items. The Cinco de Mayo work shown is a 22 piece photo booth prop which is also great for a table centrepiece at your Mexican fiesta, whether it's in Mayo or Marzo. 


Mexico City is the largest city in Mexico. There it is known as DF, which stands for distrito federal (federal district). It's rather like calling the US capitol DC. 

nicksarebi is a lecturer in Bristol in the UK. He took the photo of the flooded benches in Worcester on February 14, 2014. By this time many parts of Somerset had been under water for eight weeks. http://www.flickr.com/photos/34517490@N00/

Michael and Sarah Braun Hamilton live in Middlesex, Vermont and they sometimes take pictures of things. In 2008 they went to Oaxaca and took a picture of a vibrant blue bench against a pink wall. In the photo there is an intriguing reference to F. Kahlo, D. Rivera and Bambi. Their photostream is lamanaya at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mlf/

Rick Ruppenthal's beautiful Mexican beach bench scene caught my eye immediately. It was taken at Bucieros Centro, Valle de Banderas, Nayarit in April 2010.  His photostream is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/rickruppenthal/ He also has a blog, in which he shares his thoughts about photography and life in general.
frugalphotography.wordpress.com/


Ben Miller from Arlington, Virginia, photographed Alejandro Colunga's La Rotunda del Mar on the Malecon at Puerta Vallarta. His photostream includes sets of Puerto Vallarta, American Samoa, his honeymoon, and lots of proud pictures of his family. http://www.flickr.com/photos/benmiller23/  


Sandor Weisz is from Chicago. As santheo he photographed the white park benches in Valladolid in 2008.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/santheo/  He has sets of family and friends, fun local events, and his honeymoon. There is also lots of travel in various US states, and countries like Thailand, Cambodia and Venezuela. 

G is Graela, a civil engineer employed in bridge design. (Oh, where was she when I needed help with the bridge bench post last month?)  She loves watching people and during a trip to México in 2009 she watched people out on the streets and in the parks, going about their business. As a mother of three little blond boys, it must have been difficult to sneak this serene and lovely picture of a woman in the city square of Aldama.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/alaig/

The angel statue with a round adobe bench was photographed in Oaxaca in 2008. The photographer is Gaylalin.  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Angel-statue1-oaxaca-MX.jpg

Ann and Dabney are actually two different people. They live in St. Louis but if you put them on a plane, they will happily go anywhere. They went to México in 2008 and took a picture of two park benches, which are definitely in the style of a diálogo.
 http://www.flickr.com/photos/ann-dabney/ Wherever they end up, Ann and Dabney will most likely buy some vintage tchotchke (I've never known how to spell that). You can see the stuff they sell at midmoderngoods.com.  

Pamela Silin-Palmer is a decorative artist, fine artist, and illustrator who now lives in Ireland. She makes magical paintings, greeting cards, dolls, paper products, and glorious hand-painted fantasy furniture. From renaissance rabbits to royal boars, her website is full of fun and fantasy - a real delight! www.pamelasilinpalmer.com  Benchsite story Pamela's rabbit and sow benches were lucky enough to make it onto Noah's Ark in time for World Animal's Day. Her Bandito Bench was done years ago for The Grand Phoenician hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. The Cactus Trompe L'oeil bench, for the same hotel, featured a large Sidewinder rattlesnake painted on the seat, so that the sitter had to sit on it. Thanks, I'll remain standing. 

Frida Kahlo, Diego, and The Two Fridas are all Uneek Doll Designs from Debbie Ritter's shop in Alabama. www.etsy.com/shop/uneekdolldesigns Debbie makes dolls for all kinds of historic and literary figures. Her Bette Davis doll from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? appears in the Benchsite Halloween blog. In this Mexican bench story the uneek Frida doll is in her traditional tehuana dress, and Diego is beside his photograph. The Two Frida dolls are based on Frida's 1939 painting of Frida, done shortly after her divorce from Diego. It shows the two Fridas with their hearts exposed and their arteries connected. One is the traditional Frida in Tehuana dress, loved by Diego. The other is the rejected Frida after their divorce. 

Kris Robinson is a wife, HR professional, Mom of adult children, dog owner/lover, reader, wanna-be photographer, and budding traveler. She has a 
México set taken on a trip to Rosarita Beach with a group of friends; looks like they had a great time. The mosaic bench was in the Rosarita Beach Hotel spa.       http://www.flickr.com/photos/krobinson/


I have a habit of using grahamc99's photos because he has an eye for great benches and other interesting stuff. And because he's very generous with his photos. Fortunately for me, he made a trip to México City in 2009 and snapped the Upside Down bench on the Reforma. I also used his hippo bench picture. The much-photographed hippo looks fabulous from any angle.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/schnappi/

Jon Fisher is the jaundiced ferret, living currently in Arlington, Virginia. He visited 
México City in 2010 and took a picture of the high art benches. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaundicedferret/


Kara van Malssen lives in Brooklyn. She photographed the bench at Frida Kahlo's Blue House and also the sign explaining that it's Frida and Diego's house. http://www.flickr.com/photos/karavan/

ro_chi has no profile so there is very little I can say about him or her except that the photostream is brilliant and all photographs are available on Creative Commons.  I could have done almost a whole Mexican bench blog from ro_chi's photos alone. As it is, I've picked out the following, which have appeared in the story: the silhueta silhouette bench;  banca fúnebre, the black cross bench, which I didn't see anywhere else, and the Poker bench, which I think is by Darthko  http://www.flickr.com/photos/srzrocio/   ro_chi calls the Poker bench the Ace of Hearts (As de corzones ). It sounds lovely in Spanish.

The bench in the Calle Regina was photographed by Alejandro Linares Garcia.


Gary Denness is a British expat who used to live in México scraping a living as a TEFL teacher. He photographed the skeleton on a bench and has a set called Mexile 365 with a Mexican picture for every day of the year. He and the delightful Paola seem to spend a lot of time travelling. http://www.flickr.com/photos/garydenness/


The Day of the Dead skeleton couple is from www.thrillomatic.com  I've loved these since the day I first saw them. They appeared in my wedding story blog last year. 


Sergio Kasusky Pech doesn't provide a profile on Flickr but I'm guessing he's a professional photographer. His photostream is full of moody black and white photos, and close up colours, and all the glory of Mexico (and other places). His duo bench on the seafront was taken in 2013 at Techac Puerto, Yucatan http://www.flickr.com/photos/sergiokasusky/

The idea of a Diálogo de Bancas (Dialogue of Benches) was created in 2006 by Issac Masri in Mexico City. The exposition consists of 71 benches, mostly made of steel and bronze and made by visual artists, architects and industrial designers from seven countries. The benches stretch for four miles along the Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, a wide tree-lined avenue which is closed to traffic on Sundays. The benches are a place for picnics, relaxing, knitting, sleeping, chatting, falling in love. They are much photographed and appear on Flickr and many other online sites. Designers of the Reforma benches include work by Leñero Alberto and Francisco Castro, Saul Kaminer, Legorreta + Legorreta, Luis Manuel Serrano, Noah Katz, Naomi Siegmann, Manuel Felguérez, Gustavo Monroy and Vicente Alba Red Bed, Eloy Tarcisio, Friedeberg, Yvonne Domenge, and others. After much searching, what I haven't been able to find is a comprehensive list of who made what.

BG's photostream includes a México City collection and the Benches of the Paseo de Reforma. BG, from San Francisco, has photographed thirteen of the best known Reforma benches, including the red ribbon bench, the couple made from a bench, and the romantic young couple facing each other. And just for good measure, I also used his picture of the delightful and slightly creepy crawling creature. http://www.flickr.com/photos/b_g/3999783455/

ArtNacky is a miniature empire in Sedona, Arizona. Its owner likes small things and reminds us that a little slice of heaven is still heaven.  Well, yes. I think the little ceramic Frida and Diego are heavenly. They are wearing their wedding clothes from their (first) wedding, which is a very famous painting by Frida. ArtNacky also has lots of royalty figures, animals, and ordinary dollhouse families.  https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/artknacky

The Frida Kahlo/Diego Rivera second wedding photo is by Bones Nelson in Canada. Sherri Nelson makes all kinds of dazzling folk art, including this brilliant portrait print photo. Her etsy shop is at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BonesNelson and her website is at www.sherrinelson.ca  She sells a wide assortment of Day of the Dead psychedelic art prints, custom portrait paintings, kids' clothes, sugar skull ornaments, gothic art, rockabilly art , necklaces, printable cards, PDFs and home decor.


Heather Galler's Art is bright and lively and dizzy with colour. From her etsy shop in Rochester, New York, she does original paintings, ceramic tiles, framed tiles, mounted and paper prints, pillows, and even shower curtains. There are so many Frida things that I had trouble choosing, and Day of the Dead pictures are so sizzling that you feel anything but dead. I chose Frida with parrots, and then a shower curtain making a fine display of her eyebrows. Heather's Galler/y is at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HeatherGallerArt  and  http://www.findfolkart.com/easy2find.htm

Bo Nielsen is bo47, a Danish guy living in Copenhagen. He took the Mexican Church Blues photo of the blue Mexican church, which appears in his amazing Flickr set photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bo47/  He also has a daily photo blog at www.justwalkedby.com 

The image of the Frida and Diego bench sculpture in the garden is by Kenn Wilson, taken on his phone on a visit to the barrio de Santa Catarina in Coyoacán in 2013. Diego appears rather large here, in contrast to the fragile Frida. No wonder Frida's mother called them The Dove and The Elephant.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/kchrist/

Gabriel Flores Romero actually lives in México.  I know his town - Tecate, on the California/Mexico border. He travelled to Cuauhtemoc,  México City in 2009 and took the photo of the large gold hand (mano). http://www.flickr.com/photos/gabofr/  His Flickr sets are extremely varied: Software Freedom Day, beer fests, car shows, and some very lively Days of the Dead.

Brian O'Connell is broc7. His Queretaro compadres bench was taken in México
in 2007. http://www.flickr.com/photos/broc7/   His photostream has some lovely shots of snowy winter benches too, probably not taken in México. 

Crafty Kathleen from Massachusetts has Got the Goods. She's a purveyor of hard-to-find vintage-inspired fabrics and notions. Home Ec retro housewives, Japanese kitsch, and Mexican dancing skeletons - her fabrics are to die for. Alexander Henry's cotton fabric, 'Frida's Garden', featuring Frida with a monkey, has been out of production for some time now but Crafty Kathleen has been crafty enough to find it for her etsy shop and Ive been lucky enough to show it in the story. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/craftykathleen

Eddie is my Inner Editor, who just happens to be a primate. If you've seen much of Benchsite you will know what a problem Eddie is for me. He
 has ruined helped me edit the post about my swimming bench and the Blue Monday benches.  He interfered with stepped in to help with the Orange bench mystery. However, he has a habit of setting his own agenda with the benches. Look what a mess he made great job he did on St. George's Day . And as for my Red benches in February? No wonder I was very grateful seeing red. 

Julio Martinez photographed the butterfly bench in the barrio de Santa Catarina in Coyoacán, which happens to be where Drida and Friego's Blue House is. Originally from Spain, Julio is now a web developer in Seoul. His Mexican set is at  http://www.flickr.com/photos/liopic/6234755874/

Sandra Silberzweig's image of Frida and her monkey wings is one of many pieces of artwork in her etsy shop. Her work is dazzling with colour,  an eclectic mix of mystic, vintage & shabby chic, gypsy, comic pop art, up cycled, reinvented, supernatural, steampunk industrial, OOAK Designer jewel findings and retro found-objects. There are angels, healing stones, kitschy decor, luck-infused charms, sexy kits and religious-cool objects d'art.   www.etsy.com/shop/SandraSilberzweigArt

You knew the Yucatán steps weren't Eddie's holiday snaps, didn't you? Jim G lives in Silicon Valley in California. His photo sets are sooooo well organised into travel places, and all carefully labelled and tagged. This enabled me to find his photo of El Castillo, one of the Mayan ruins at Chicken Itza in the Yucatán.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimg944/

The bench against the yellow wall is called Yellow Ochre and comes from Steve Bridger, who lives in Somerset, UK, and is a builder of bridges. Steve has published guidebooks and two award-winning blogs related to México  - Mexicanwave and After Wilma, about the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma in 2005.  He has been blogging about Mexico since 2003 so you'll find everything you need to know. His Flickr Mexico photostream is at  http://www.flickr.com/photos/mexicanwave/ and the 100 photo Mexicanwave set is at  http://www.flickr.com/photos/mexicanwave/sets/589225/ For a taste of Mexico, highly recommended.

Glen's pics come from Glen Van Etten, a retired college professor who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hey, that's cheating! Yes, in a way it is, but Glen's coloured block benches are so brilliant that they just had to be included. Old Mexico, New Mexico - does it matter? The blocks were photographed in 2008 at Canyon Road in historic Santa Fe. For absolutely amazing photos of New Mexico, see Glen's photostream at 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tejedoro_de_luz/

OK, I confess to one more cheat. It's the rustic wooden bench and table, which is from Tijeras, New Mexico. It was photographed by Emily Lewis, a freelance web designer who lives in Albuquerque. She describes herself as moderately tattooed, a web geek and best of all, a grammar and punctuation freak. A person after my own heart. I hope this blog meets with her approval. http://www.flickr.com/photos/eplewis/

David Cabrera is linkogecko. He lives in DF Mexico and photographed the arty black iron benches seen in the story. He also captured a lot of pretty church benches, plus fabulous places to visit in México, like Oaxaca, Tabasco, Hidalgo, and Veracruz.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/linkogecko/

muy yum is also known as Larry. Larry lives in LA and loves eating out. His photostream is full of pictures of food which looks, yeah, muy yummy.  He photographed the whimiscal bench by Flying Concrete in San Miguel de Allendo Centro in 2009. http://www.flickr.com/photos/muyyum/

Quite Peculiar took the photo of the music bench in México in 2007. http://www.flickr.com/photos/quitepeculiar/416955861/  Quite Peculiar lives in London, though her hometown is apparently the Land of Nod. She has two occupations: fox demon and cat of nine tales. She likes cats, pastries, books, tea and clothing formerly owned by strangers. 

TheCX describes himself as just a guy in Monterrey doin' the living thing. That's Monterrey in México, which looks fabulous for doin' the living thing. The CX has good quality photos of many of the Reforma bancas from the Exposición
de Bancas @ Mexico D.F. including the glass bench and the red bench called El Affair.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/c_x/sets/72157606786253411/# His photostream also includes many of the benches I didn't show on this blog; there are seventy-one, so no way could I show all of them.   http://www.flickr.com/photos/c_x/   

Wonderlane from Seattle is simply wonderful. In this story I have used her flying bird happy eyebrow bentwood bench from La Paz, along with the delightful polka dot tree and the old man in a paper boat at the end of the story. He is called El Viejo y el mar (The Old Man and the Sea). The sculptor is Guillermo Gomez. These are all from La Paz in Baja California Sur.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/

Eddie, aka Eduardo, is never one to do things by halves. He's been in Mexico for a few weeks now and it looks like he has thrown himself wholeheartedly into it. The parrots, the flag, the Mexico bench; where will it all end? 







2 comments:

  1. Goodness gracious me! This must have taken forever and a day to compile my dear! What a wonder - I never, ever knew or contemplated the range and diversity of the world of benches. This is indeed a mono-brow eyeopener!
    Many thanks for directing me to a new area of knowledge
    Best wishes
    La Cootard

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  2. Hola, La Cootard! Muchas gracias for your comment. I'm so pleased that you like the Mexican benches. There are so many in Mexico that it was difficult to make a selection. In order to see everything and make choices, I had to keep my eyes wide open and my mono-brow carefully plucked. Best wishes, Miggy

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