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Culture Lust by Angela Carone

A Naked Woman House... With Pictures!

I was in Mexico this weekend and you won't believe what I stumbled upon!

You think your eyes are playing tricks on you, but they're not.  You are actually looking at a large nude torso of a woman with giant boobs.  Believe it or not, she is the home of an artist named Armando Muñoz Garcia.  He watches TV in her tummy and sleeps in her ta ta's.

This is one of the many things to love about Tijuana and Baja, California:  the spontaneous, organic, mixed-media, resourcefully constructed, unregulated, individualized, half-built, mashed up architecture.  It's so topsy turvey from our American way of life - the idea that something so significant as a home, the emblem of the American dream, can be toyed with in such a way.   I'm reminded of a show we did recently on These Days about homeowners' associations and the ridiculous rules they enforce.  I imagine a house like the one above would send some of those association board members into cardiac arrest. 


So here's what happened...we were driving along toward Puerto Nuevo and stopped so one of our passengers could do some roadside shopping.  I looked up on a hillside and saw what looked like a large face.  We got out of the car for a better view and realized the face might be attached to an entire body!  Obviously, one doesn't pass up such things, so we asked our fellow travelers to sit tight while we checked it out.  We then proceeded to cross three highways, climb some relatively steep inclines (in flip-flops) and hike up a little hill to find ourselves in front of the house of Armando Muñoz Garcia.  

Armando is a sculptor and painter who is also known for a 56-foot sculpture in Tijuana called  La Mona La Mona is also a dwelling, and I believe it's half-built.  She stands among a dense residential mix of homes and shacks built into the city's hillside.  I've read reports that many of the residences surrounding La Mona are squatter shacks, but I don't know that for sure.  I've seen La Mona from a distance, across a canyon, and she's something to behold.  Kind of like a Lady Liberty for Tijuana. 

Since La Mona , Armando has been busy building this residence.   He's spent the last 12 years working on her. Here's an even closer look...

Armando met us outside and seemed thrilled with our snapping pictures.  Not a shocker.  One assumes if you build a naked woman house, you're counting on some looky-loos.  We had to decline his offer for a tour because our guests, including three children, were waiting in a hot car below.  But Armando was kind enough to invite us back - an invitation I plan to take him up on as soon as possible.  Apparently, the structure is four stories - the living room and kitchen are in the tummy, the bedroom's in the chesty parts, and the head and hair will be his studio.  He plans to work on a flowing mass of hair next.

Here are the best directions I could find online.  Be sure to stop by and say hello to Armando.  He's charming and gracious and the house is crazy fun. 


March 21, 2008 at 11:44 PM
...what's he do in the back of the house??