today will be better than tomorrow

Casa Kamffer was remodeled in 1960 by Raul Kamffer, the French-style house built in the thirties was transformed to Mexican neocolonial, although it really is a fusion of styles since many of the components were demolition materials, some very old such as the iron gates and the colonial columns which support The House but who was really Raul Kamffer, not only he was my father, he also was an antiquarian, run an art art gallery, a filmmaker, wrote several scripts which we are actually looking for a brave director to film them, an expert in Pre-Columbian Art and finally an architect, although he never graduated. He told me that The House had influences from El Caco Parra, a great student of Barragán, El Caco nicknamed like that because when he was a student he was very poor and had to steal materials from his classmates in order to continue studying, of course his great merit was to give a Mexican flavor to El Estilo Barragán, probably his most emblematic work is La Casa del Indio Fernández in Coyoacán.

the Facade bottom up
The Facade
The Facade left

The history of Casa Kamffer is vast and I will probably forget several anecdotes but let’s start at the very beginning, my parents belonged to The Communist Party and were always from the left, this led us to have several visits from the world of arts and politics, Che Guevara stayed a few nights after fleeing from Guatemala, Siqueiros held a meeting when he got out of jail, which they forbade me to attend but anyway I sneaked in and the master liked me so much that I was the guest of honor at the inauguration of the Cuauhtémoc Mural in Bellas Artes, which my parents would not let me attend because we sided more with the Diego Rivera faction. Siqueiros was totally an Stalinist.

The Window Garden
The Garden
The Garden top view

The Nomenklatura came to this house twice to expel my parents from the Communist Party, I can still hear the shouts, the last one was in 1968 the student movement, the grievance was that my parents who attended the UNAM at that time supported what the boys decided and the party wanted to manipulate them, the best thing about belonging was the parties to which Oscar Chavez came to sing, by the way I forgot to mention that my father was a sybarite and every day there were splendid meals the wine flowed so the usual suspects, from the film industry theater or politics such as Jodorowsky, Jorge Fons,Juan Mora, Tony Khun, La Chona’s husband, actor Hector Ortega and his brother in law Carlos Payán, ex-director of La Jornada, there were more suspects but I don’t feel like remembering them just now.

going up
flowers

In the world of cinema there were luminous visits like Peter O’Toole, Elizabeth Taylor, John Houston also was the location of El Perro y La Calentura, a film directed by Raul Kamffer, one of the first art-porno films ever made, also several CUEC shorts where my mother Leonor Alvarez was a teacher and she lent them The House, which was sometimes a nuisance, in 2020 was the location of the short La Chamaca from The Bricolagista film company, in which the one who writes this words is the main actor.

Apartment A
Apartment A
chimney

When my parents finally separated celebrities stop coming in droves but the show must go on, now we were hosts to real younger lets get wasted parties with the presence of Rita Guerrero, Son De Madera, Abraham Cruz Villegas and many more. In the rebellion not The Communist Party anymore but still left wing, we gave asylum in 2006 to comrades fleeing the repression from the sister Republic of Oaxaca, another time we hosted 50 Huichol indians who came to the big city to legalize their lands, just imagine the problems we had to go to the bathroom, lately the house participates in the bicycle revival and hosts the first meeting of El Paseo de Todos, a group that currently has more than 4000 cyclists riding around Mexico City, we still had famous guests who stayed longer than expected, like the heads of ONGs such as Charlie Cordero of Fundación Mexico Vivo or Miho Hagino of Fundación Paisaje Social and last but not least hosted Wirikuta on the roof, a high temperature ceramic workshop directed by my brother Marco Kamffer who currently lives in Contreras.

Apartment B
Apartment B up
Apartment B down

We pull trough earthquakes, some burglary attempts, fires scares which led to the chimney of the house being closed, survived when the secret police raid us looking for marijuana, we got used to the virus of gentrification with the consequent increase of expenses still managing to keep The House even more beautiful, all good things come to an end, we are moving to the forest, time to live more according to the principles, The House is for sale, hopefully those who buy it will treasure it.

The dining Room
The Kitchen
the Bathroom

Goodbye to the jacarandas, squirrels, birds, iguanas, plants and the beautiful Plaza Rio de Janeiro in La Colonia Roma CIAO.

The Bend
the digital painting
62
The View
looking Out

Casa Kamffer fue remodelada en 1960 por Raul Kamffer, la casa estilo tipo francés construida en los treintas fue convertida a neocolonial mexicana, aunque realmente es una ensalada de estilos ya que muchos de los componentes fueron materiales de demolición algunos muy antiguos como las rejas y las columnas pero quien fue Raul Kamffer aparte de ser mi padre fue anticuario, galerista, cineasta, escribió varios guiones para películas, experto en arte precolombino y por último arquitecto aunque nunca se recibió. el contaba que la casa tenía influencias del El Caco Parra gran alumno de Barragán, apodado así porque cuando era estudiante fue muy pobre y tenía que robarse los materiales de sus compañeros para poder seguir estudiando, claro su gran mérito fue mexicanizar El Estilo Barragán probablemente su más emblemática obra es La Casa del Indio Fernández en Coyoacán.

La historia de Casa Kamffer es amplísima y probablemente se me olviden varias anécdotas pero vamos a comenzar por el principio, mis padres pertenecieron al Partido Comunista y siempre fueron de izquierda, esto dio pie a que tuviéramos varias visitas del mundo del arte y de la política, El Che Guevara se quedo algunas noches después de huir de Guatemala, Siqueíros hizo una junta al salir de la cárcel, a la cual me prohibieron asistir pero de todas maneras me colé y que le caigo bien al maestro tanto que fui el invitado de honor a la inauguración del Mural Cuauhtémoc, al cual mis padres no me dejaron asistir pues nosotros apoyábamos más a la facción de Diego Rivera, Siqueiros era totalmente estalinista.

Hasta está casa vinieron los de La Nomenklatura dos veces a expulsar a mis padres del Partido Comunista, la última fue en El Movimiento de 1968, la bronca era que mis padres que en eso tiempo asistían a la UNAM apoyaban lo que los muchachos decidieran y el partido quería manipular el movimiento, lo mejor de pertenecer al partido es que tuvimos varias fiestas a las que vino a cantar Oscar Chavez, por cierto se me olvido mencionar que mi padre era sibarita y todos los días había grandes bacanales en las que fluía el vino, por lo que asistían los sospechosos de siempre, gente de cine teatro o política como Jodorowsky, Jorge Fons, Juan Mora, Tony Khun, el esposo de La Chona el actor Hector Ortega y su concuño Carlos Payán ex-director de La Jornada, también hubo tantos otros más que por ahora no me quiero acordar.

En el mundo de cine las visitas fueron varias, Peter O’Toole, Elizabeth Taylor, John Houston, fue locación de El Perro y La Calentura película dirigida por Raul Kamffer, una de las primeras de arte-porno, también varios cortos del CUEC donde mi mamá Leonor Alvarez fue maestra y les prestaba la casa, lo cual a veces era una friega, en el año 2020 fue locación del corto La Chamaca de la compañía Bricolagista, en el que participa el que esto escribe en uno de los papeles principales.

Al separarse mis padres las visitas de famosos fueron menos pero the show must go on, clásicos reventones con la presencia de Rita Guerrero, Son De Madera, Abraham Cruz Villegas y muchos más. En la rebelión todavía le dimos asilo en 2006 a perseguidos políticos de la hermana República de Oaxaca, se le dio posada a 50 huicholes que vinieron hasta la gran ciudad a legalizar sus tierras, imagínense el problema para ir al baño, la casa apoya al movimiento bicicletero al ser sede de la primera junta de El Paseo de Todos agrupación que actualmente lleva a rodar más de 4000 ciclistas cada mes por la Ciudad de México, hubo huéspedes celebres que se hospedaron largas temporadas y son jefes de sus respectivas fundaciones como Charlie Cordero de Fundación Mexico Vivo o Miho Hagino de Fundación Paisaje Social and last but not least albergó en la azotea a Wirikuta taller de cerámica de alta temperatura dirigido por mi hermano Marco Kamffer que actualmente radica en Contreras.

Sobrevivimos a varios temblores, algunos intentos de robo, conatos de incendio lo que llevó a que la chimenea de la casa fuera clausurada, salimos librados cuando la policía secreta entró a la fuerza a buscar marihuana, nos acostumbramos a la odiada gentrificación con el consiguiente aumento de gastos logrando mantener la casa cada día está más bonita, aún así los tiempos cambian, nos vamos a mudar al bosque, es hora de vivir más acorde a los principios, la casa está en venta, ojalá los que la compren sepan atesorarla.

Nos despedimos de las jacarandas, ardillas pájaros, iguanas, plantas y de la hermosa Plaza Rio de Janeiro en La Colonia Roma CIAO.

kuate

Mezcal, Oaxaca and Art

Oaxaca is just magic, since i was little I wanted to live there, on these days is the only state to ban Starbucks, Coca Cola for the underage and allowed abortion and marriage of the same sex, in other words Oaxaca is the most advance state in Mexico and soon we hope will become a truly independent and separated country it truly deserves it.

Lots of bare walking in Oaxaca and my feet know it.

One of the best features in Oaxaca is that it hosts La Maquina, the most fascinating printing workshop in the world, commanded by an exceptional printer Don Francisco Limón.

Francisco Limón, Turok and Nonoy

In October 2019 I was honored to be allowed to do a print in La Maquina, to begin with, it was a bit hard to many distractions, parties, friends, beautiful women, mezcal and excellent food.

The print name is The Ducks Also Ride is about a mother and her daughter searching for independence, riding back to the country, and leaving it all behind, in other words escaping to freedom.

This wasn’t my first lithography, I done one 40 years ago and it was shown in Bellas Artes México City and in the Biennale of The Federation of British Printmakers. but then it was a smaller machine and we have to ink the the stone manually.

Kuate 40 years ago…………………………………………………. La Maquina today from Paris To Oaxaca.

I wish to thank all the people who help me in Oaxaca first the crew of La Maquina: Benigno Hernández, Polo Vallejo, Adrian Leon and of course the big boss Francisco Limón and second all the friends of who made my staying in Oaxaca an unforgettable experience El Negro Alberto Ibáñez, his brother Memo, my nephew Adán Gutierrez, El Gober Precioso Hector Audiffred, El Kike, Robert Boerleider, Japo Meixueiro, Jean-Marc Tassé, Taro Zorrilla, and the ladies without them life will be so miserable first of all the real big boss Lolo, and of course the muses Erika Hernández, Maria Velasco, Luz Ma González, Natsumi Baba, Melissa Liera, Xperla, Emilia Chuliá, Nonoy, sorry if I forgot anyone else.

So after so many hardships, and shots of mezcal we finished with a wonderful edition of 25 prints thanks Oaxaca.

10 años lo que duro la guerra de Troya es lo que lleva Fundación Paisaje Social, proyecto dirigido por señorita Miho Hagino y señor Taro Zorrilla organización que trata de ayudar a los más necesitados a través del arte y la arquitectura.

la historia conmigo empieza en 2012 cuando impartí un mural comunitario con gente en edad terminal de La Fundación Quiéreme y Protégeme, yo fui instructor de este tipo de murales en los ochentas con el grupo H2O del gran maestro Felipe Ehrenbergh, experiencia que me sirvió de tema para mi tesis de Maestría en la entonces Escuela de San Carlos UNAM y claro también para poder llevar a buen puerto este taller tan emotivo con abuelitos de la cuarta edad, todos lloraban por su casa así que el tema del mural extrañamente fue Mi Casa.

Un buen día el licenciado Luis Javier de la Torre jefe de El Patronato de la Ruta de la Amistad se acerco a Taro y a Miho para organizar varias rodadas ciclistas, la idea era promover la ruta de la amistad y gestionar la construcción de una ciclopista entre las esculturas. yo apoyé llevando a los grupos ciclistas y en el diseño del poster.

Dentro del Corredor cultural Roma- Condesa, Paisaje Social organiza una pequeña rodada con el fin de promover una exposición sobre urbanismo en el muca Roma. Los ciclistas portaban una camiseta de mi autoría.

En parte de esta segunda década del siglo XXI tuve el honor de conducir el programa de Paisaje Social en su estacion favorita Radio Raices Sederec , eso de ser locutor es todo una experiencia religiosa.

En 2017 se me comisiona hacer la portada de la agenda de Paisaje Social, se tardo un poco en salir, tenía un cliente muy exigente.

2020 tiempos de cholera digo COVID última colaboración, Miho le pide a sus amigos artistas que hagan un dibujo para que gente que sufre la confinación se entretengan coloreándolo.

Epilogo: 10 años con Paisaje Social 15 años de conocer a señor Taro y 25 años a señorita Miho, por cierto no se les olvide buscar y apoyarlos si quieren más información denle click aquí: Paisaje Social.

Reconocimiento

A bailar que el mundo se va acabar, let’s dance because the world is going to end.

A digital splash of color, sensuality and fun. Just like in La Belle Époque, when the French painted Luxe, Calme et Volupté, no need to be prudish, only the pure joie de vivre.

We celebrate  women, mezcal, love, sex and hallucinogenic drugs. But it is more than that. It is also color, art, dreams, stories, consciousness and of course, life.

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Luxe, Calme et Volupté The Gallery

I wish I could do something against climate change, to return to the country that Neil Young sang of 50 years ago, looking at Mother Nature on the run, that brown dirty soil that grows the food we eat. And the only way I can say thanks to our old Mother is to acknowledge her. And the way to acknowledge her is to paint her, to immerse myself within her, to experience the hallucinogenic, the beauty,  the transcendent.

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Looking At Mother Nature On The Run On The XXI Century The Gallery

From 2008 to 2016 I went bike crazy! The new utopia, riding a bicycle could change the world, cars personified evil, consumption, waste and pollution. We could save the world if only we all would just ride bikes. I actively participated in many groups: Bicitekas, Paseo de Todos, Nadie and I rode with so many others: Biciosos, Mujeres En Bici, Ciclismo Para Todos and División Del sur.

It was euphoric, I outdone myself, biking through the night to Tepoztlán, or going as far as Pachuca, Cuernavaca, Toluca, etc. Getting fitter was the game. They were exciting times and I made so many friends, went to so many events and parties. But at some moment I realized that I didn’t want the responsibility of being a nanny of groups. People were very demanding and I needed a quieter life. I had to earn some money so I could dedicate my life to travel and art, but not everything was lost…I still ride a bike occasionally.

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Bikes The Gallery

2006 was a year of social upheaval. There was electoral fraud and the opposition occupy Reforma. For two long months there was camping in the main street of Mexico City. Meanwhile, The Teachers Union, with the help of the people, captured the city of Oaxaca, demanding the resignation of the governor, who was responsible for many killings. It was a time of barricades and confronting the police. The first commune of the XXI century. I participated in both movements, sometimes risking my own skin.

It was a transition period. I acquired my first computer and began to learn how to use it. I started doing some digital paintings using photographs and carried on with the watercolors and drawings.

Of course, we celebrated the Oaxaca Rebellion the way we should – in La Bisnaga, with a collective exhibition and lots of mezcal.

Maybe the most dangerous thing that happened was the mezcal. Up to this day I don’t really know how I survived.

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 The Year We Lived Dangerously The gallery

Coming back to Mexico City, I had an exhibition at The Hexen Café, a most appropriate place to show the latest paper work done in 2 Amates, as well as some work that I finished in the big city. Women are  the subject, but not any women. Only the ones that have control of their life, bodies, soul and espiritual powers. The ones I hope take over the world if we want humanity to survive.

I had enough of big formats and especially oil, that seemed so slimy. After visiting some of my teachers and colleagues, seeing rooms and warehouses full of terrible paintings that only seemed to be taking up much needed space, I decided it was so much better to only do paper work. If nobody wants it, just put it to a match and c’est tout! The times, they are a changing.

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 They Killed Them because They were Beautiful Gallery

From 1995 to 2002 I went to live in the jungle, a place full of magic and sensuality. Taking the Gauguinesque decision was easy. What wasn’t easy was living it up. It wasn’t really the peaceful life that I was seeking. I needed some dangerous adventures and some fun, like fulfilling my childhood dream of being singer in a rock ‘n’ roll band.

My art found a natural home in 2 Amates and from this fruitful experience came a lovely exhibition in Las Atarazanas a grandiose gallery in Veracruz Harbor.

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2 Amates (The Jungle years) Gallery