Edward James built one of the biggest and least known artistic monuments of the 20th century known as Las Pozas. Over a 20 year period, over 36 surrealistic structures were built in concrete at this magnificent site.
Edward abandoned the intellectual, social and artistic circles of London, Paris, New York and Hollywood for the jungles of Mexico. He lived in Xilitla with his close companion Plutarco Gastelum, a Yaqui Indian, and his family. Plutarco would later become Edward’s construction foreman at Las Pozas. El Castillo was built by Plutarco and became the home of his family. Edward also lived there when he wasn’t staying at Las Pozas.
Before coming to Mexico to build Las Pozas in the early 1950’s, he had already led an extraordinary life. His family owned a 300 room mansion and 6,000 acre estate in England, which Edward later converted into West Dean College, now an internationally recognized center for restoration arts.
Born to immense wealth and privilege in 1907, Edward’s life imitated the surrealist art he loved and collected. He turned his back on the rigid aristocratic circles of Edwardian England that he was born into, and befriended and supported dozens of artists who would become household names in later years. The people in his life included Dali, Picasso, and Stravinsky. He wrote poetry all his life, however it was in his building of Las Pozas that he realized himself as an artist.