First things first: the wine. Chardonnay everywhere. I don't drink chardonnay; I don't like the oak. But I was very happy to see that Leal was pouring the Carnaval meritage. Unfortunately, that was sold out. The only red at Leal was the syrah. I am not always a syrah fan. I like big, fruity wines. I steer away from the overly dry. But the gentleman from Leal let me taste it, and I told him I would make an exception for his syrah, the 2005, which was fruity and a little spicy, very balanced, not too heavy, a nice wine.
Now for the art. Let me put it like this: I wandered around with my glass of wine. I saw straw hats on which someone had glued dyed ostrich feathers. I saw pet portraits, these huge oil paintings of Fluffy and Fido. I saw masses of handmade pottery items glazed in earth tones, including this frog.
Just so you get an idea of the proportion? The frog is perched on a wine barrel. That is one big-ass frog.
I saw big paintings of hearts and butterflies. Then I had what seemed a brilliant thought, and so I called my friend E.
Me: I just thought of the funniest thing.Oh, people. I'm sorry. But does the world need more mobiles that look like they are made from marbles and coat hangers? More generic beach art?
E.: [waiting] . . .
Me: You know why art and wine are such a natural pairing for festivals? [pause to let her think about it] Because you have to be drunk to buy this crap!
Do these faces make the world a better place?
P.S. I wasn't going to post these pictures; I felt bad, you know, my goal is never to hurt anyone's feelings, and some artists/craftists do view the work of their hands as inseparable from themselves, and so are in for a world of hurt when the work is criticized. I told my friend E. I was not going to post the pictures, though, and then she and I talked about art and criticism and how being an artist generally means presenting one's work to the public, which invariably means the public will have some sort of reaction, and I realized that I must post the pictures, for that is what criticism is about. (If you can call this criticism; I'm not sure that I would. But as a writer, I know to separate myself from what I produce.)
If it makes anyone feel better, every time I stood still in wonder that such work could be exhibited and sold, I would overhear another festival-goer exclaim, "That's beautiful!" and open her wallet.