Hermilo Tovar

Art Is Everywhere

The bulk of the tourists in San Miguel de Allende for the Christmas & New Year holidays have departed. No more beautiful young women trying to negotiate the cobblestone streets in their beautifully stylish 4” heels: no longer are the streets clogged with cars and buses moving at a snail’s pace.

So the other day, I went for a long stroll down one of the main thoroughfares. My goal was to acquaint myself with the shops along the way and also to exercise my eyes. I scoped out some agaves that would be lovely to photograph when the sun was in a different part of the sky and I had almost walked completely by a closed gate when I found myself advancing backwards to look again. It was one of those slow processing moments where at first it didn’t register what I was actually seeing.

As I began to tune into the details of the tableau in front of me, I began to smile. There was a whole world of flora, fauna and family all made of old auto parts at 19A Ancha, the shop of Mecanico Hermilo Tovar. Is it any wonder that I felt I was in the presence of a kindred spirit? As a person who can imagine a six foot hummingbird from waving ornamental grasses, I loved seeing the work of a man who could envision the human form in a rusty gas tank and winking eyes in worn old gears.

Senor Tovar was a great mechanic in his day and an artist as well. His widow was kind enough to bring me inside and show me some of the “family” still living among his collection of old car parts. I hope you enjoy his artistry and humor.