By Bob Alvarado
Risque cover girl Explained Its no secret that twenty-five years ago, while studying in Mexico City, I had conjured up a crazy new magazine idea focused on enlightening the Latin American male. The idea of this Spanish language forum was to promote new trends, modern thinking and the works of top-notch writers for the upwardly mobile Hispanic male. The target market would span from Argentina to New York City. The marketing hook? To feature a beautiful girl, from a selected Latin American country, au naturel on each cover, and classy pictorials with a centerfold, just like Playboy magazine. Wow, what a dreamer, huh? Well, I will understandably catch a lot of flack from our readers and chiding from the staff with this issue. Comments like, Roberto, this is probably as close as youll ever come to realizing your lifes dream and, Hey, stick to antiques, are sure to follow. Un momentito, meester, this cover girl is well substantiated. For one, the issues lead feature is about the rebozo and its tradition (did you not notice her rebozo?). Dont miss Rebozanado Tradición on page 32. Also, from Mexico City, our correspondents report on the calendar art exhibit at the Soumaya Museum (the lovely lady appearing on this cover is actually from an old Mexican calendar). And if that isnt reason enough, the artist who painted this fine example of calender art is none other than Mauricio Deveaux, French immigrant from the 30s who devoted the rest of his life to painting traditional images of everyday Mexican (mostly fully dressed) society. Many of his paintings were, and still are, being used for calenders today. Be sure to read about Mauricio and his love for the Mexican way in the next issue of El antiQuario. I have no doubt that most every one of our male readers will approve of this edition, and hopefully the majority of the women will as well. Any idea how much pin-up artist Alberto Vargas illustrations go for these days, even just a print? Of the many tequila swilling friends that I have encountered in Guadalajara -- most of whom dont mind the quality as long as it is plentiful -- one fine gentleman, Robert Leslie, stands out remarkably. He is a retired American engineer who has lived most of his life in Mexico and Latin America. Imbibing the agave nectar with him is a relished occasion of enjoying only the finest distillates in discerning amounts, while discussing his latest antique books acquisitions. His vast experience, wisdom and gentle manner are the bedrock of a lasting friendship. His most cherished topic seems to always resurface, time and again-- Mesoamerican jade. Well, after years of listening to Mr. Leslies thoughtful rhetoric, I believe that the time has come for El antiQuario and its staff be put to the task of highlighting this amateur mineralogists contribution to the annals of history. Among all the activities that keep this hard working staff on its nimble toes is fielding the never-ending requests, inquiries, suggestions and story ideas for our publication. One in particular created such fervent discussion that it was ultimately launched as a pilot for a new column. Self-proclaimed expert and researcher into the world of the saints and their theological origin, Vicente Rincon has indeed stirred up a mild but lively polemic in his attempt to cast a spotlight on the many saints who have been depicted in folk art paintings throughout history. Take a look at SAN... ¿QUIEN? SAINT...WHO? on page 17. More importantly however than the lore that was researched for this new column, was the difficulty we encountered in trying to correctly identify who is who amongst the lesser known santitos. In order to match up the images with the names, Id like to encourage the input and ideas of you, our readers, for this new section. (Even detailed information on the Internet was pretty sparse, imagine that?) Ultimately, unbeknownst to Mr. Rincon, the illustrations which we chose for the article are not from some obscure painter -- they are never-before-published original miniatures by Rincon himself. By the way, this guy is very good at image-making on copper canvases smaller in size than a book of matches. Rarely will you see more than two or three of his pieces together, mostly due to his huge local following, and the unbespectacled artists penchant for detail. Please give it a once over and send us your ideas and recommendations, however extreme they may be. Our staff actually thrives on controversy and muddled confusion. For the past several weeks we have participated in some very exciting antiques events; such as FINARTE, in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, and the famous Texas shows in Warrenton and Roundtop. Follow our reporting in this edition. There have been some new developments as El antiQuario continues to expand its presence by inviting more and more Mexican dealers to these noteworthy events, as well as encouraging our U.S. counterparts to attend the Mexican affairs. Maybe you too would like to partake in this fun. Be sure to look over Agenda 2000 for coming events in Mexico and the United States. As our workload increases, so goes the head hunting -- and that is a difficult mission. Most of the people we interview are more interested in vacations and a retirement program (bless their selfless hearts). Fortunately, there are a few out there who still believe in stock options and profit-sharing (Microsoft style), who will consider collaborating with El antiQuario in one form or another. This is an open invitation for writers, photographers, distributors, promoters and even truck drivers, as long as they can hold a tune, to drop us a line. And rest assured that Ill be dropping Mr. Hugh Hefner a line too. Do you not think that he would like a number 10 issue of El antiQuario for his own collection?