todos santos baja california sur mexico
An Artist’s Nirvana
The Aura of Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

As Vincent Van Gogh studied color and light in the hay-stacked fields of the French countryside, today artists are finding the same draw to the cactus forests and palm groves of Todos Santos.  Moved by the wonder of this Pueblo Magico, painters, sculptors, poets, and musicians are stirred by the town’s aura and spirit that encourages them to turn inward, producing meditative and at times profound works.

Here, battered pickups, horses, cattle, chickens, dogs, children, and artists move across the same dusty dirt.  Isolated from the modern world until a few decades ago, Todos Santos maintains a reverence and innocence rooted in age-old Mexican traditions of church and family, fishing and cantinas.  The incredible opalescent skies have always been a aspect of the pueblo's ambience.

Like many artists’ colonies, Todos Santos has a purity of light.  Painters from far less idyllic climates, where paint freezes on palettes or clouds gray the skies, understand the seduction of this place. Galleries, studios, and workshops co-exist in a place where admiration seems more important than competition, mutual respect and appreciation almost palpable.  Creativity seems to be floating through this special aura.  Time and space seem to go unnoticed.

Mexican painter Gabo is known for his 1920’s Bauhaus movement style.  His often humorous depictions of mankind’s passions and tribulations reveal Gabo’s reinterpretation.  Enjoy his art in the cathedral he built to himself a block south of the town’s real cathedral.  Light-filled images of matadors, fish, melons and more by consummate Mexican painter Victor Vega can be enjoyed at Galeria La Coronela on Calle Legaspi just up the street from the central plaza.

For fine contemporary paintings and sculpture by nationally recognized Mexican artists, visit La Galera (closed July 2008) located on Calle Obregon directly behind the Banorte bank. It is artist-managed, so chances are it may not be open when you are there to visit it. Around the corner is Charles Stewart’s artist-managed gallery and residence. Octogenarian Stewart paints Native American Indian mysticism, inspired by the aura of both Todos Santos and his beautiful American Indian wife.

Todos Santos was a Pueblo Magico long before the Mexican government designated it as such in 2006.  It’s always been an escape for the creative among us, and a delight for teachers, vegans and surfers in search of rewarding explorations.  Painters see this magical and inspirational aura of color and light that does indeed exist in Todos Santos.  It seems to fall from heaven and ignore any earthly interference.

Article by David Mandich - 26 June 2008

Last Revision - 26 June 2008 - jat
Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico