P A I N T I N G
As the Crow Flies
Rock of Ages
Majestic Moran Point -
Phoenix Art Museum Gold Medal Winner 2014
A N D
T A N G O
Master landscape artist ARTURO CHAVEZ'S paintings are so magnificent in detail & scale that when you enter a gallery or museum and see one for the first time, it takes a moment to take it all in - like standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon. And when you step into his loft studio his behemoth easel takes center stage. "It's the largest one that they make," laughs Chavez, as he takes me on a tour and then makes me an amazing espresso.
Before he even picks up his brushes and applies that first sweep of oil to canvas he has already worked enumerable hours preparing for that moment. There are four stages to his process.
A 13th generation native New Mexican, Arturo spent his childhood in Chimayo and Los Alamos and has always felt an affinity to the land, seeing his landscape
paintings as an act of preservation.
Luna, the official greeter of the studio...
Music is integral to Arturo's life and work. Before becoming a professional artist, he trained as a classical concert guitarist. And while he paints he listens to music - Bach is his favorite - and sees his paintings in terms of musical compositions...
Studies - above and below - are for new paintings...
"First I do an outdoor field sketch, focusing on color," explains Chavez, who will also take color photographs at different times of the day to capture the nuances of the changing light. "Next I create a charcoal & pencil drawing and composition in
the studio only dealing with light and dark
And finally he begins the painting, working towards capturing the illusion of space.
For the past 30 years he has focused on creating remarkable landscape canvases that have won enumerable awards and are in private collections, galleries and museums. Recently the TUCSON DESERT ART MUSEUM purchased his massive 7 x 14-foot painting of the Grand Canyon for their permanent collection. He is, as they say, at the top of his game.
ARTURO CHAVEZ IS ON TO A NEW 'GAME'.
For years, in addition to his beloved landscapes, he has been creating a different genre of paintings that he has never shown or exhibited that he calls
ACTUAL - ILLUSIONARY ART.
"Actual Illusionary Art," explains Arturo, "is the juxtaposition of actual three-dimensional texture (the objects) against the Illusion of texture. Rendered in high definition, the painted forms intermingled with the actual textures creates an immediate sense of excitement and profound, insightful questioning of our visual perception. Binocular vision and the processing of visual information in the visual cortex is the pathway to my intentional jesting, challenging the viewer to “figure it out”.
These trompe l'oeil-esque paintings are diminutive compared to his landscapes and the subject matter and texturing tells a very different visual story.
So, how did he come to 'explore' this new
Serendipity seems to be the 'culprit'. One day, says Arturo, he was painting and looked down at his palette all gunked up with texture and color. He instinctively grabbed his roller and after a few pushes and pulls, discovered a new artistic adventure.
"Artist's tend to get pigeon-holed - identified only by their current work," explains Arturo, who feels that exploration is a vital part of being a successful artist.
Inquiries should be made to the GERALD PETERS GALLERY.
THE ART OF TANGO
"The music goes in my ears, is filtered through my heart,
and comes out through my feet."
El Flaco Dany Garcia
The year 1994 was exciting and pivotal for Arturo. He spent five months in Europe, based in Paris, pursuing geometric sculpture work and TANGO. Two years ago he met his elegant dance partner, Patricia Duran, and photographing them at EL MESON one evening - Tuesdays are tango night at this popular downtown Santa Fe restaurant - was a challenging and beautiful experience.
"You see, we are painters. We paint the music with our feet..."
"Great dancers are not great because of their technique; they are
great because of their passion."
"The things of Tango are internal...a dancer arrives at the roots
of Tango when he falls in love."
"How did you choose the Tango?...I didn't, the Tango chose me.
The Tango Lesson
A R T U R O C H A V E Z
Gerald Peters Gallery - Santa Fe