In 1976 I met one the most influential persons of my life, the British surrealist patron, collector, architect and poet, Edward James. I was teaching at the Instituto Allende when I was asked to go to a remote jungle village in Northern Mexico to shoot stills for the Telegraph, a newspaper in London who was covering a British television special about Edward James. Edward had amassed the largest personal collection of surrealist works, all directly from the artists. The famous portrait of Magritte’s - Reproduction Forbidden - a painting of a man looking into a mirror but his back is repeated in the reflection, is a portrait of Edward James, one of three he commissioned from Magritte. James turned his back on Edwardian society (he was rumored to be the bastard son of Edward the 7th!) and bought 300 acres located in the Northern most rain forest in Mexico where, in 1962 he hired over 150 Mexican workers and artisans. Over a period of 25 years, and built entirely out of concrete, a fantastic surrealist city/sculpture garden called “Las Pozas” (The Pools), at a personal cost of over 5 million dollars. Eventually Las Pozas was comprised of over 36 huge concrete sculptures, including a concrete grove of bamboo over 60 feet high and multi-story “buildings” in the shape of plants with a river running through them. I became friends with Edward and continued to know him and visit Las Pozas until his death in 1984. Las Pozas has recently been included in the 2010 Watch by the World Monument Fund.
You can learn more about Edward James and Las Pozas at this link: JungleGossip.com
I can be reached at email@example.com