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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

One Person's Work of Art - 29 Pieces to Show You!!

Miguel Illescas

I FINALLY stopped procrastinating (at least on this one thing) and went to Miguel Illescas's Art Gallery here in Cuenca.  A place I had driven by more times than I can count and said to myself "self, I need to go there".  I LOVE HIS WORK!!!

I've seen his work many times before, at arts and craft fairs and various fundraising events.  I've even bid on one of his pieces...ONCE.   Many of my acquaintances here in Cuenca have pieces of his work.

I WANT ONE!!!   Hell, I want the whole damn gallery!!!

I used Bing Translator to translate a segment from his 'About Me' section on his website:

His..."works of art in two-dimensional and three-dimensional format, using materials such as iron, wood and mixed media for their chromatic solutions as a means of expression.  He ventured into topics 
ANTHROPOMORPHS, ZOOMORPHS, symbolism, giving his works a MYSTICAL character magical and PLAYFUL, 
from the ancient to the contemporary, deeply Latin American but at the same time universal."

In case you're wondering what that big word "Anthropomorphs" is...here's a definition I found on the interwebs:  "the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object."

Much of his work is made out of wood and metal, but takes on a ceramic-like finish.  The squares you see, such as in the first photo, are metal upon which the figures are attached.  The swirls in the metal give the mystical background a very 3 dimensional look.

Instead of me attempting to be an art critic and explain what each of these are supposed (?) to represent, I'm going to simply list words that come to mind when I see his works:
  • Mystical (said that a few times)
  • Spirits
  • Fun/Playful
  • Frolic
  • Musical
  • Sea Creatures
  • Gods/Goddesses
  • Finding Nemo
  • Whimsical
  • Humorous
Most of his works are very affordable.  Some smaller pieces run about $300, standalone 'statues' $350 - $550, the large squares (about 28" x 28") around $500, many non-square wall hangings $800 - $900, and then up from there.

To get an idea of the size of his pieces, take note of the informational card (about the size of an index card) posted next to it.

Many times I can whiz through an art gallery in nothing flat as I'm not so much taken by paintings and/or obscure/abstract art.  But, in this gallery I stopped and admired each and every piece.

If you visit Cuenca, or live here, you MUST drop in and experience it for yourself.

Calle Larga 1-209
(approx 1 block before the Museum Pumapungo and Banco Central)

Why do I have the song "Under the Sea" stuck in my head now??

I LOVE the Iguanas!  These are 3 to 4ft long.

Male Frigate Bird

Maybe 'he' is whistling a happy tune?

My favorite....the Blue-footed Boobie
(only because I like saying that)


I wonder if this whale is shunned by the other whales due to his rainbow colors?

He plays in the horns section AND the strings!

A Mardi Gras float?

If he joined the other guy, between the two of them, they would have a flute, horn, strings, and drum.

Out on the lawn in front of the gallery.

Miguel has also created large-scale urban art, such as these:

On top of a bridge span.

The next piece is NOT an Illescas.  The gallery showcases other artists as well.  This particular piece is all HAND WOVEN.
Approximately 4ft x 5ft.
Price:  $1,800

(THERE's a project for you Chris!)

Til next time.....



Have plans to visit Cuenca in the near future or down the road?  Don't want to stay in a Hotel with just a bed and a bathroom and have to eat out for every meal?

Solution:  Short term rental apts provide 2-3 times more square footage, ability to cook, and sometimes even do laundry...all at a price tht's usually less than the cost of a hotel.  They're typically outfitted with everything you need and want down to pots/pans/dishes, towels, bed linens, TV, small appliances, etc.  All you need to add is groceries.

You'll find them listed on AirBnb , TripAdvisor, and VRBO.  Just search for the city you're travelling to, then filter the result list to 'entire home/apt' to eliminate room-only rentals.  A good listing will show you plenty of photos, past reviews/ratings, detailed description, and the location on a map.

Maybe you'll book one of mine!  I have several weeks open between now and the end of the year.


  1. Awesome art work !
    See ya in a few months.
    Chuck and Rosie

  2. Awesome art work !
    See ya in a few months.
    Chuck and Rosie

  3. Good Grief! I see what you mean by wanting the whole gallery. Incredible!

  4. We found the gallery on our last visit. We had to control ourselves from not buying a dozen pieces. Having to bring them back to Hungary did dissuade us, but we do have a wishlist for certain.

  5. Beautiful! Love the colors in the woven piece. Like I could do that...not! I tried to pick a favorite but couldn't.



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About Me

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Palma, Mallorca, Spain
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Spain, in the city of Palma on the island of Mallorca in the middle of the Mediterranean sea!! I moved from the USA to Cuenca, Ecuador, South America and lived there for 7 years before moving here to Spain in early 2018. To read about my adventures in Ecuador, check out my other blog "Ahhh Cuenca!!". I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live in Europe....across the pond.

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