A Mexican Travelogue

A Mexican Travelogue

Mark Chamberlain
Jan 17, 2012

For years and years I've sought out on my winter hiatus a set of quintessentially Mexican colors in lovely Puerto Vallarta: Bougainvillea Pink, Margarita Green, Maize. This year I found myself drawn to something else entirely--the play of light and what defines colorful.

As I was running to my plane, I read somewhere how one colorist found it so difficult to choose colors in someplace like L.A., and she much preferred the muted light of Seattle to harsh light further south. That got me thinking.

In years past, I've decided that color in Mexico is determined by context. If, for centuries, you wake up to bright pink flowers and bright turquoise waters, your palette as a culture might be more saturated and elemental than in snowy Scandinavia.

This time out, I caught myself thinking that a lot of the muted grays and soft blacks and whatnot that I use in interiors in New York simply wouldn't work in this environment--they'd be blown out by the close-to-the-equator sunshine. Therefore, if color arises out of context, then the cultural palette that is Mexico must require to some extent color that stands up to the bright, constant sunshine. And from there, we find bright pinks and greens extracted from the landscape.

I close with a few photos, not so much interiors as what one sees on the way to dinner or the beach.

Images: Mark Chamberlain

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