Above, shot of an inside page in a profile on the "erudite subversive" in the October issue of Gatopardo magazine, Pedro Friedeberg, the Italian-Mexican surrealist. The Palacio de Belllas Artes is hosting a show on Friedeberg until January.
The piece is by Gatopardo editor Guillermo Osorno, who visits Friedeberg at home in the Roma and asks the 73-year-old artist what he thinks of Mexico City today (click after the jump for the English translation):
¿La Ciudad de México? La veo horrible, pero no porque sea más fea, sino porque hay demasiada gente. En 1973 había cuatro millones de habitantes, y ahora hay seis veces más. Está sobrepoblada. ¿Qué más se puede decir? Ya no hay contacto humano. Por ejemplo, llevo 10 años viviendo aquí y de las 10 personas que viven a mi alrededor hay pocas que me saludan. Yo tengo ganas de saludarlos. Los veo a los ojos y ellos hacen como que no me ven. O a lo mejor soy muy viejo y muy feo, y no quieren tener contacto conmigo. Yo no pido ningún contacto, sólo quiero que me digan: "Buenos días" o "Qué bonito perro tiene."
Friedeberg, who trained as an architect, lived early in his life in the Colonia San Rafael. He was a student of Mathias Goeritz and a contemporary of Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, and the little-known Brígida Tichenor.
The survey of his life's work currently at Bellas Artes is outstanding. Highlights include his most famous work, the hand chairs, his "architectual" plans for houses and cities (or, as seen above, an orphanage for tehuanas), and his mischievous cartoons intended for readers of an early ex-pat magazine.
Check out his work here.
Friedeberg's thoughts on Mexico City, in English:
Mexico City? It's horrible to me, but not because it is more ugly but because there are too many people. In 1973 it had four million inhabitants and now it was six times that. It is overpopulated. What else can I say? There is no human contact. For example, I've lived here for 10 years and among the 10 people who live around me, they've said hello just a few times. I have an urge to say hello to them. I look into their eyes and they pretend they do not see me. Or maybe I am too old and too ugly, and they don't want contact with me. I don't want contact, I just want them to say, "Good morning," or "What a nice dog you have."
Here is Friedeberg's main site.