AAA Traveler - Summer 2021 - 33

ROAD LESS TRAVELED
TRAVELER
SUMMER 2021
EDITOR
Kristy Tolley
ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Janean Flowe
SENIOR DESIGNERS
Las Pozas
Surrealism Inside Mexico's Jungle
Eccentric. Brilliant. Loco. These are a few of the adjectives art historians,
contemporaries and locals in a colorful village in Mexico have used to
describe English millionaire Edward James, who built an 80-acre sculpture
garden in Xilitla, Mexico. A supporter of visual arts and himself a poet,
James found his tribe among the surrealists of the 1930s, notably Salvador
Dali and René Magritte. He shared and admired their surrealist approaches
to art, and ultimately, with the help of local workers, brought his visions to
life at Las Pozas.
Located roughly 275 miles north of Mexico City within the jungle of the
Huasteca Potosina region, James' version of Shangri-La takes visitors
through a maze of concrete sculptures, some draped by tree ferns and
others threaded with moss. Construction began in 1962 and was halted in
1984 when James died. Today the garden looks like a lost civilization. In
some spots, it's hard to tell which came first - the lush jungle where birds
and butterflies wing or the 25-plus unusual installations and buildings. One
visitor observed that Las Pozas blurs the lines between art and nature.
To appreciate James' genius, you have to suspend logic: Staircases lead
nowhere; randomly placed columns hold up nothing; oversized, concrete
flowers grow beside live ones; and other unusual pieces seem equally
plucked from dreams.
Guided tours lead to several of the garden's highlights, including the Casa
del Venado (House of the Stag), Palacio de Bambu (Bamboo Palace) and
the garden's namesake, Las Pozas (The Pools). Here against a backdrop of
latticed walls and pillars, a waterfall plunges into nine pools. The experience
teases out the child within, an evocation James wholeheartedly embraced.
While ambling along the paths of his surrealist legacy in the late 1970s,
he admitted, " I've never grown out of my first childhood. " Indeed, a walk
through his garden allows you to extend yours.
- Amity Moore Joyce
©2021 AAA Traveler is published by
AAA Carolinas. Reproduction in whole or in part
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printing errors or omissions in this publication.
Editorial Inquiries:
kltolley@AAACarolinas.com
Amanda Johnson
Morgan Keith
GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Rachel Hawkins
VICE PRESIDENT TRAVEL
Debbie Haas
SR. MANAGER,
TRAVEL MARKETING & PRODUCT
Darcy Grimes
MANAGER, TRAVEL MARKETING
Julie Elberson
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AAA Traveler, visit AAA.com/Order
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Traveler in 2021 are digital.
ROD WADDINGTON
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AAA Traveler - Summer 2021

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