Los Cabos, Desert Paradise, and in the middle of it, two Italian Artists…
By Tiziano Thomas Dossena
The rugged beauty of the desert, combined with a coastline which at time reminded me of the Italian Amalfi coast while the fine-sand beaches have their own uniqueness, make the Cabos a fascinating and inviting area to visit and vacation. It’s not the classical stereotyped Mexico you see in the movies. Yes, you can see cacti everywhere on the sides of the streets, but that’s about it. People resemble more the behavior of New York’s area in their approach to handling workloads, while they have the calm attitude and politeness of the Californians, and radiance in their smile that is matchless. Being in the Cabos reminds you a bit of Truman’s Show, where everything is perfect. The manicured lawns ─ yes, it’s a desert but don’t tell the locals ─ and the always courteous shopkeepers testify to it. For a writer, as I am, it’s a plunge in the depth of the unknown. I expected to find… well, actually I didn’t know what to expect, but regardless, I was pleasantly surprised.
More so when I left the familiarity I had acquired in the glamorous Cabo San Lucas to visit San José del Cabo, a smaller but much older town belonging to the same municipality. I chose to visit first with a tour and the town displayed some intriguing aspects that I wanted to verify on my own; and so I participated to their Art Walk, a popular weekly event held every Thursday evening from 5-9pm between the months of November and June. It was fantastic! An evening of music, meeting artists, drinking Sangria and Tequila, tasting various local specialties, everything so pleasantly organized that you forget you are in a town in a foreign country and start to believe you have returned home to your town or city and everyone you meet is a ‘paesano’ who knows you somehow, whether by relation or by being your ex-neighbor. It was an experience I strongly advise everyone to have, if they can.
What topped it off for me, being an Italian and an art critic, was to find two Italian artists with their galleries right smack in the middle of it all. Bruno Pegoretti was standing right in front of his gallery, speaking in Italian to another artist, Piero Milani. I could not help but introduce myself in my original language and from then on it really was as if I had lived in that town forever.
Pegoretti, who is an amiable character who loves talking about food as much as I do ─ and that is not saying little ─ is also an outstanding artist who creates unique paintings that seduce you with their warmth and sense of artistic equilibrium. Somehow, looking at the painting of a red Chevrolet stuck among the cacti says it all about the influence the Cabos had on the artist. [more about Bruno Pegoretti]
Milani, instead, paints with the hand of a child who is genetically flawed and his paintings are a marvel of colors and shapes that find their own balance outside the normal rules because of the unusual choices of the painter, who defines himself an underground artist. His art is fresh and indisputably distinctive, although it may need some time for the viewer to filter it properly. [More about Piero Milani]
Finding these two fine Italian artists at the end of Baja California, in a town surrounded by desert and the beautiful coast facing the Sea of Cortes, added to my amazement with my vacation in this wonderful area of the world.