By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Mexico City’s Presidente InterContinental Polanco is paying homage this month to one of Mexico’s greatest contemporary artists, Francisco Toledo, with a Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) altar in its lobby.
Toledo, who died at age 79 in his native Oaxaca on Sept. 5 of this year, was considered to be the leader of the Breakaway Generation of Mexican art.
The career of Zapotec painter and sculptor spanned seven decades, during which he produced thousands of works and became recognized worldwide as one of the country’s most important graphic artists.
The altar — a Mexican tradition associated with the two-day Día de Muertos festival that runs from Nov. 1 to Nov. 2 — includes many classic Day of the Dead symbols, including Catrinas (well-dressed skeletons), cempasúchil (marigold flowers), papel picado (cut paper art), cactus (representing the state of Oaxaca), candles and paintings by and inspired by Toledo.
Among the participating artists are Triana Parera, Edurne Esponda, Alejandro Arango, Jazzamoart, Rivelino, Carlos Agustín, Diego Rodarte and Ale de la Puente.
Last year, Grupo Presidente, of which the Presidente InterContinental Polanco is a member, began a program called HospedARTE to promote Mexican artists and their work through exhibits in the hotel’s lobby.
The Toledo altar and art exhibit is included in that project.
Half of all the money raised from the sale of the paintings will be donated to the Graphic Art Institute of Oaxaca.
The altar and exhibit will remain on display and open to the public through Nov. 5.