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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Two: Travel Incongruities > Musical Encounter, Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico, 2005
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31-OCT-2005

Musical Encounter, Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico, 2005

Dolores Hidalgo, a small town near San Miguel de Allende, was the site of Mexico's first uprising against Spain in 1910. Its also known for its famous Talavera pottery, and for its bizarre ice cream flavors, which include shrimp, tequila, and fried pork skin. This strange musical encounter on one of its street corners seems almost as odd. Each man stands before an identically colored frame, as if on public display. Their body language and costumes contrast sharply one man is carefully dressed and stands tall and proud, while the other is casually dressed and seems utterly relaxed. Between them rests a large musical instrument, standing taller than the man who grips it with both hands. It makes a strange companion for street-talk in a small Mexican town.

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Phil Douglis08-Oct-2006 18:22
I love your take on this one, Annie. I never considered the relative "reality" of these characters until you mentioned that the fellow on the left appears to be more a prop than a real person. It is simply a matter of costume -- he seems to be ready to perform, while man on the right is relaxed and casual in both dress and attitude. Glad this image made you think.
Annie J08-Oct-2006 01:44
The colors of the background frame the men nicely. The man on the left almost looks like a mannequin or a statue, it is only the eye contact established by the man on the right that gives him away as a live man to me. Also, the man on the right with the way he is dressed seems like he is trying to "blend in with the crowd" moreso than the man on the left who is dressed more in "costume" (to me)...however with the rich colors of the background, it is more the man on the right who stands out to me.
Phil Douglis08-Dec-2005 00:46
You are right -- in Mexico, life is lived in the open as much or more than behind closed doors. That is why Mexico is such a wonderful place for photographers to visit. You and I enjoyed numerous opportunities such as this one offered during our eight day visit there together. Perhaps such open living is more visible in the smaller cities and towns such as San Miguel and Dolores, places where everyone seems to know everyone else. It's a very casual and comfortable public life style.
Tim May07-Dec-2005 23:26
Music in the streets - life in the town. This image captures part of what I found wonderful about the cities we visited in Mexico. Life is lived on the sidewalks and in the plazas - It is not a culture where everyone is locked up in front of a little box watching someone else live. This picture captures that spirit.
Phil Douglis04-Dec-2005 23:27
Thanks, Dandan, for noticing not only the incongruous contrasts here, but also mentioning the relationship of those contrasts to the harmonious elements that tie the image together.
Guest 04-Dec-2005 11:58
This image is full of contrast and harmony, that’s the beauty of the Mexican culture.
Phil Douglis15-Nov-2005 17:38
Thanks for pointing out the physical contrast here, Mo. It adds even more to the equation.
monique jansen15-Nov-2005 15:04
Tall and short, carefully dressed and jeans, dark and light...an image full of contrasts.
Phil Douglis12-Nov-2005 02:23
This image seems to have tickled your imagination as much as it did my own, Mikel. I made this image because of its multiple incongruities. I am glad you found so much else going here as well.
Guest 12-Nov-2005 02:13
The guy in blue realy constrasts with the photo and that makes him have a bit more of visual relevance while the other one is slightly more hidden by the tones though the photo is equilibrated thanks to the waight of the instrument.
A funny thing is that the guy with the counter-bass is holding it with the upmost care as a precious tresure... that probably it is... while the doesen't seem to matter about anything.
An other interpretation that I gave to the photo was related to the colors of the subjects, while the musitian is in a vertical position rigid and similar colours to the tones of the wall... it is like he is trying to use his camuflage for not beeng seen while the other guy, the one in blue, looks like saying... -I found were you are hiding- perhaps the musitan whanted to go away without playing??? ;)))))
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