Mario Sanchez transcript | Folkstreams

Mario Sanchez Transcript

Mario Sanchez Transcript

- I know that my modest art isn't any good, but it pleases, it pleases others. My cat, she's 12 years old already and she has a cataract already in one of the eyes. She's getting old like me. Nearly a thousand cigar makers used to work in this Gatos cigar factory. My father read in cigar factory for about 30 years and he used to read out loud for a thousand cigar makers to educate them and entertain them. He used to read the local news, outside the news and classical novels Victor Hugo and Jules Verne The cigar makers used to have an election among them And he passed out a list with the novels, the names and the authors and they voted. The ones who had the most votes, that was to be read. He used to have to be an actor, you had to talk like a woman and like the old man and all of that. He used to act and everybody used to put attention. It was interesting and it was just like an education to the cigar makers. He didn't leave any estate houses or money but he gave us a good life when he was alive. He believed in that. Mama. My mother thinks I'm a baby. I'm still a baby. Cause first thing I do, I have to go see her first. She kisses me and then I start work. And she needs that, she needs that in life. I started doing this ever since I was a boy. But I like to conquer the wood. I was born there 68 years ago, right there in the corner where the grocery store is. This neighborhood is very different. Oh, the life in the street has changed a lot. Cause we used to have peddlers, carts, wagons, children playing out in the streets, flying kites and playing tops and spinning tops and the girls used to jump rope, skip rope and it was different. I think it was more colorful. We used to have vendors out in the street, the peddlers, carts, wagons, horses. It was a very happy place. The man was, he used to sell homemade caramel, vanilla, orange, different flavors. And he used to wrap it up in different colors of paper with a tooth with a pick through a penny of piece. And he used to have a whistle. It was a special whistle they brought over from Cuba and he used to whistle it. And the name "beedalee" comes from the whistle. The whistle used to sound beedalee. And the children used to throw pennies or give the pennies to the monkey man. And he used to have a cup and he had a dress, a coat, and a little cap, the monkey had. When monkey man didn't pick up enough pennies, he used to pick up the monkey, go on to the next neighborhood. He says money maker the monkey dance. No money, no dance. Those days they used to dress everybody alike. They had to do it. They had big families and they couldn't afford to go to the store and buy them a dress, each of them dress. My mother used to buy the silk. They used to bring it from China. She made herself a dress and she made some pants in church and all handmade. First for your children and then for her, you know, how mothers are. I've done 16 different versions of funerals. I used to stand in the corner and watch 'em. I used to like to watch 'em. They used to have a big band. They march in the funeral procession dressed up in the large uniforms. When I started, I used any kind of paint, house paint. Whatever I had in the house. Crass paints and now I use Grumbacher, Achiever paints. A little more refined. Yeah. I use castor oil to mix the paint. Cause I ran out of linseed oil and my mother-in-law, she told me to go to the medicine cabinet to see if something would help. So I found the castor oil and ever since I've been using it because when you paint with the castor oil, you mix the white paint, it stays white. It doesn't turn yellow during the years. I've never done nothing with shadows. I don't know how to shadow, give it the shadows like other painters do. I don't know how to do that. To give the street effect, I use crushed rock pieces, native rock and I mix it with paint and then I used cat litter, fresh cat litter cause it does the same effect on the streets mixed with the white paint. I used brushes from the dime store. When they wear out, I throw them away. In every block the kids used to have goats and carts. They train them, you know, like a horse. We used to go to the ice man and get the ice. Go to the grocery, do errands for my mother and my grandmother. The best thing is to be original. Be original. That's my advice. Every painter has his own, just like a cook. They have their own cookbook book. They do things their own way. I let it come easy and I don't feel that I'm great or nothing like that. I'm just Mario. That's all.