Wax museums have been giving us a slightly vertiginous, eerie, hair-raising sensation as far back as the 18th century.
And Guadalajara’s version, while not nearly as renowned – or respected – as Madame Tussauds in London, delivers on that ineffable sensation with two floors and several rooms crowded with silently staring life-sized representations of actors, athletes, writers, musicians, clergymen and politicians from around the globe.
It’s immediately obvious as you enter the first and largest room that local and national celebrities enjoy the lion’s share of the wax artists’ attention, with international notables getting somewhat short shrift in the verisimilitude department. For instance, the representation of “Brozo el Payaso Tenebroso” (Brozo the Creepy Clown, a beloved but abrasive character played by actor Victor Trujillo for over 20 years) was spot on – or so my partner in crime for the museum tour, a Tapatia in her early 30s, informed me. Contrast that with the museum’s dismal stand-in for multi-hyphenate Justin Timberlake, who looked more like a bored, half-bright Italian barber than the dashing, clarion-voiced bachelor oft-fawned over by women and men alike.
On the other hand, the gallery’s Donald Trump avatar seemed to deftly capture the source’s hugely inflated ego. Also, his pairing with a radiant, grinning Dalai Lama was an inspired bit of absurd juxtaposition, intended or not.