Tuesday, November 14, 2006

If only there was enough of this fabric to make a shirt waist dress. Alas, there is only 44”x 49” of it. You might just be able to squeeze a sleeveless top out of it.

Fabulous matador print, 50s. Who knew red, mustard, avocado and brown could look go great together on a white background. Nice details. Notice the coleta (ponytail) on the matadors. The grouping of the posters behind the figures adds a nice graphic element. Although too blurry to read close-up, one of the announcements cites a “Plaza de Vale”, which sounds fabricated to me. Now, I’m not up on every corrida de toros venue, but a quick search doesn’t yield anything with that name. This fabric is about 60 years old, but it’s my impression that bullfight plazas are fairly fixed venues, rarely shuttered or demolished, or opening under another name due to Chapter 11. (If anyone knows of a Plaza de Vale please let me know, and I’ll amend this post.) Madrid is also listed on one of the other posters. But since Las Ventas is Madrid’s main bullfight venue, well, it’s fishy. All of this leads me to posit that this material was designed by non-Spanish artists and printers. Lovingly done and delightful nonetheless.

I’m no expert on Tauromaquia. In fact, I’ve only been to 2 bullfights. Years ago I went with a classmate in Madrid, a nice Californian girl. She cried and nearly threw up. We were sitting next to these old timers, who were so engrossed in the fight they didn’t want to get up to let her out. I explained to them that she was a vegetarian. This got their attention. “If she is a vegetarian, then she must leave immediately,” one of them said, and they all cleared the way. I stayed on with the septuagenarians who offered me cigarettes and explained the action. I was a macho 19 year old Goth who ate “Death in the Afternoon” with a spoon and they treated me like one of the boys; this was the best experience from that trip to Spain. Now I’m une femme d’un certain age, non-smoker, yoga-doer and vegetarian for crying out loud. I doubt I could sit through a bullfight anymore. Certainly not one where a horse was gored, the matador was spattered with blood and spectators from the cheap seats shouted: “You’re an egotist, just like your father.”

But why does my heart leap when a brass band strikes up the Paso Doble? Am I a total hypocrite to eschew roast beef sandwiches but fill my apartment with black velvet paintings of toreros? Is it wrong to love this print while reading Gandhian philosophy?


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