May 23rd, 2016

Bex Rox Loves Edward James

We recently have been diving into the surrealist world and work of Edward James.

Eccentric, poet and traveller, British born Edward James (1907 – 1984) dedicated his life to the surrealist movement.

In the 1940’s he embarked on a journey to find wild orchids in the dense jungles of Mexico. His other reasoning was clear, that he; “wanted a Garden of Eden set up . . . and I saw that Mexico was far more romantic” and had “far more room than there is in crowded Southern California”. In Cuernavaca, he hired Plutarco Gastelum, then a young manager of a telegraph office, as a guide. With his help the two stumbled across Xilitla in November 1945. A deserted 80-acre coffee plantation in the depths of the Huastecan jungle.

We know it today as Los Pozas (“the pools”). A bewildering surrealist sculpture garden, playing host to over 36 concrete sculptures.

journey-mexico-seba-xilitla

Las_Pozas-Paula-Soler-Moya

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

P1000007

“I have seen such beauty as one man has seldom seen;

therefore will I be grateful to die in this little room,

surrounded by the forests, the great green gloom

of trees my only gloom – and the sound, the sound of green.

Here amid the warmth of the rain, what might have been

is resolved into the tenderness of a tall doom

who says: ‘You did your best, rest’ – and after you the bloom

of what you loved and planted still will whisper what you mean.

And the ghosts of the birds I loved, will attend me each a friend;

like them shall I have flown beyond the realm of words.

You, through the trees, shall hear them, long after the end

calling me beyond the river. For the cries of birds

continue, as – defended by the cortege of their wings –

my soul among strange silences yet sings.”

-Edward James.

Portrait_of_Edward_James
Not to be Reproduced, a portrait of Edward James by René Magritte

Edward was a true patron of the arts. The Construction of Las Pozas alone, cost more than $5 million. To pay for it, James sold his collection of Surrealist art at auction. It was this kind of dedication that Edward is known and respected for, a man who had a vision and the courage to pursue it.