Jaime López Bermudez (Mexico City 1916-) is a Mexican artist and architect who lived and worked for at least several months in Ajijic in the mid-1940s. His stay there is briefly described in an article published in 1945 by American author Neill James, who had moved to Ajijic a couple of years earlier. Jaime López Bermudez, “a surrealist from the Capital, occupied a huertita overlooking the lake and worked for several months with his charming wife, Virginia, and a Mexican cat for company.” It seems more likely that Virginia was a girlfriend, since López Bermudez’s status is listed as “single” on the certificate of his marriage to American-born Josephine Blanche Cohen Soholski in Mexico City in December 1949.
López Bermudez exhibited some of his painting in a group show in 1944 at the Villa Montecarlo in Chapala, alongside paintings by Betty Binkley, Ernesto Butterlin (“Lin”), Otto Butterlin, Ann Medalie, Sylvia Fein and others.
In the early 1950s, López Bermudez gained reputation as an architect. He was considered one of Mexico’s more important “modernist” architects, and featured in a special August 1951 issue of Arts and Architecture devoted to Mexican architecture. That issue includes photos of a one-bedroom home designed and built by López Bermudez (for himself) in the Santa Fe district close to Mexico City. The design is a modernist, steel-framed one bedroom house, with garage underneath, which could be completed for under 1500 dollars. According to the accompanying text, “Jaime López Bermudez is a painter as well architect, this duel role being a commonplace among young and old of his profession in Mexico. The mural on the front of the house is his.”
Though the precise dates are unclear, López Bermudez opened and ran an art gallery, Galeria Coyote Flaco, in upscale Coyoacán, in the southern part of Mexico City, for several years. In the early 1960s, López Bermudez was the first to recognize the artistic talent of British-American photographer Jon Naar. He persuaded Naar to exhibit his photographs of Mexico City street scenes in the Galeria Coyote Flaco in 1963. The exhibit, entitled “El Ojo de un extrañjero” (“The eye of an outsider”) launched Naar onto a hugely successful career as an artist-photographer.
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