Painter Herbert (Herb) Rhodes, the fourth husband of calendar artist and illustrator Zoe Mozert, lived in Ajijic in the early 1960s. Rhodes, who had been married previously, married Mozert in 1958; the couple divorced two years later, but remained good friends and art companions.
Little is known about Rhodes’ background, early life or education. Six feet tall, with black hair, he served in the US Navy, and had attained the rank of Captain by the time he was discharged.
According to his son, Rhodes held art shows in New York, Rome and several other European cities. His work rarely comes up at auction, though this pastel titled “Navajo Indian” was sold at auction in New York in 2017.
Rhodes lived most of the 1960s and 1970s in Taos, where, amongst other things, he gained fame for drawing 127 life-sized caricatures of local residents on the walls of La Cocina de Taos, the town’s night life and live music center. Sadly, the mural was destroyed after the building was sold in the late 1970s and converted into a novelty shop and clothing store.
In 1963, Rhodes’ work was exhibited in Taos at a new art gallery owned by Zoe Mozert. Mozert’s “portrait and figure paintings with Indian subjects” were shown alongside Rhodes’ caricatures, and landscapes by Verne Matheny.
In the mid-1960s, he lived for a time in Ajijic. as shown by this briefest of notes in the Guadalajara Reporter in January 1965: “Artist Herb Rhodes and Margaret Wasson are on a trip to the States.”
If anyone can supply any additional information about Rhodes’ time at Lake Chapala, please get in touch!
Several chapters of Foreign Footprints in Ajijic: Decades of Change in a Mexican Village (2022) discuss the history of the Ajijic art community.
- Guadalajara Reporter: 28 Jan 1965.
- The Taos News: 28 March 1963, 9.
- “Diamond” Jim Halter. 2012. Liz, Inc. iUniverse, 79-80.
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