The National: Mexican artist who made Paris subway mural finally recognised at ADFF
Mexican artist Santos de la Torre has been snubbed a few times in his life – but not by Abu Dhabi. A member of the ancient Huichol tribe, he lives in the countryside away from most trappings of modern life – like water on tap.
Santos is the subject of a new documentary Echo of the Mountain, which centres on a huge mural he was commissioned to create for the Paris subway, and is still seen by millions visiting the Louvre every year.
Not only was he snubbed from the 1997 opening ceremony – he was never paid, claims the film, which traces the artist’s methods across Mexico as he painstakingly creates another similar mural.
Yet when Nicolas Echevarria’s documentary premiered in Paris, Santos was once again absent from the list of invitees.
But not in Abu Dhabi. Dressed in traditional Huichol garb, the 73-year-old has been spotted around the festival enjoying the Emirates Palace hospitality. He tells us it’s his first film festival outside of Mexico.
“I feel like I am dreaming. I’ve never been anywhere like this – the hotel bath is as big as my house,” he said, laughing.
Well done ADFF on recognising this man – and giving him the trip of a lifetime.