Sunday, January 3, 2016

Another Woman Murdered in Mexico--Another Mayor... Gisela Mota

Because mayors usually appoint local police chiefs, organized crime in Mexico likes to eliminate them as they're a major threat to their drug cartels, etc. I was upset to learn another woman, who had been in "office" for one day had been gunned down in her home by 4 men. She wanted to directly confront crime in her area of Temixco.

In 2012, I wrote about another woman, Maria Santos Gorrostieta. She's called a "heroine of the 21st century" and an "icon" for her determination to keep the "truth" alive regarding the horrific crimes of the drug cartels. She was abducted, savagely tortured and killed. Maria had been mayor of Tiquicheo, west of Mexico City...from 2008-2011. Her dedication to eradicating the drug cartels destroying her country cost her 2 assassination attempts and her life. The first attempt, in 2009, left her injured and her husband dead. The second came three months later..she was hit by three bullets when a gang with assault rifles surrounded the van she was traveling in. Her injuries left her in constant pain. But, she continued her fight for justice, A strikingly beautiful woman, Maria, trained as a physician, left 3 children, and, at that time, her second husband was missing.

 By 2012, about 24 mayors had been murdered and 60,000+ people killed in clashes between rival cartels and security forces since President Calderon started his drug offensive in 2006.The police are corrupt, with the army attempting to keep some order and obviously failing as bodies are constantly being found. I don't know current statistics but find it difficult to understand how another woman would be so fearless or, perhaps, foolhardy, to believe she would survive against the the unending violence of her country.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Picasso's "Goddess", Francoise Gilot

Picasso's famous statement to his companion of many years, artist Francoise Gilot, was that there are only "two kinds of women: doormats and goddesses". A beautiful and strong woman who met Picasso when she was just 21, she has thrived by always keeping her independence. This always bothered Picasso during their 10 years together as his muse and mother of two of his children.

Now 93, French artist Francoise  has lived in New York City for many years...she has a huge body of work, including 1,800 paintings and approximately 4-5,000 drawings.She is working on drawings now in her studio.

The current "Town and Country" magazine has a very interesting article about her, by Lesley M.M. Blume. I was fascinated by her relationship with Picasso, reading about it while I was studying painting..."Life with Picasso"...her own memoir.

Now, she has a new book, "About Women", a memoir in dialogue form, written with her friend and co-author, Lisa Alther. Coming out this month, Francoise discusses the differences she finds between American and French women and their attitudes about men, among other things.

I will look so forward to her new book, as everything with a French sensibility inspires me....especially the artists. Francoise is certainly amazing...I love this quote of hers, cited in the article, "A goddess is a goddess because she sees things from higher up".