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“Bulls and Moments”: Capturing the mystery of the Fiesta Brava

By Jade Arroyo

The world of bullfighting and the people who inhabit it are shrouded in mystery and baroque elegance. It is a sport that combines ritual, tradition, passion and a little superstition. Human passions are almost always impossible to explain, and for many this is the mystique of bullfighting: it invokes a fascination and inexplicable passion, which gives fire to life.

Art Opening
“Toros y Momentos” (“Bulls and Moments”)
Fri, Jul 12, 8pm
Restaurante La Mesa del Matador
Libramiento Manuel Zavala 13, La Lejona
(next to Mega)

In honor of this culture, five artists will join in a group exhibit entitled “Bulls and Moments,” which will bring together recent work by photographers Luis Ceballos, from San Miguel, and Botello, from Celaya, each dedicated to capturing important moments of famous matadors and the intimacy of this craft: the clothing, the bull when it has been delivered in the truck, and so on: moments of an unconscious beauty that were waiting to be discovered. Also, the painters Britt Zaist, Henry Vermillion (owners of Galería Izamal) and Juan Antonio Ruiz are presenting new work.

The latter artist is an essential part of the Atención team. Ruiz is a graphic designer by profession but has been a painter for almost 20 years. His love for the Fiesta Brava comes from his childhood, when he grew up steeped in the whole tradition of the sport. Originally from San Miguel, Ruiz grew up in the house next to the bullring Plaza Oriente, and his grand-uncle was the bullring custodian for over 50 years. As a little boy, after doing his homework he would go to the bullring to play and feed the animals, and he dreamed about becoming a bullfighter. Even though he did not become a matador, he found a way to express himself through art.

In his paintings, he tries to portray not only the obvious aspects of bullfighting, but also to capture and embrace the unexpected details and moments. He likes to paint in a spontaneous way, capturing strength and agility. The medium with which he feels the most comfortable is acrylics.
“I think everything is dressed in a different light,” says Ruiz when he talks about how objects and spaces are animated by the energy of bullfighting, acquiring another shade and another color.
Also at the opening homage will be paid to a bullfighter from San Miguel, José Diosdado. He is now over 80 years old and has been involved in that world all his life, and his enthusiasm for bullfighting is inspiring.

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