Spanish Market Show
featuring Alvin Gill-Tapia, Arthur Lopez, Miguel Martinez
Thursday, July 27, 5:00 – 7:30
123 West Palace Avenue
Alvin Gill Tapia
Alvin Gill-Tapia creates a poem by painting hallowed places and sacred spaces in New Mexico. Each piece pays homage to the land nestled beneath the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that four generations of his family helped cultivate. Gill-Tapia paints with a devoted intention to honor the historical and significant structures that define the enchanting landscape of the Southwest.
Studying for four years with weaver/painter Maud Henon in Belgium, during his formative years opened up a myriad of experiences for Gill-Tapia. The experience allowed him the opportunity to immerse himself in the art and culture offered in the cities of Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris. Henon’s consistent tutelage and encouragement helped to plant him firmly on his lifetime path as an artist. Her influence as a weaver laid the groundwork for the abstraction and understanding of color blocking that is evidenced in Gill-Tapia’s current body of work: The Architectural Series.
Following his study with Henon, Gill-Tapia spent ten years in New York, where he took classes in painting, drawing and anatomy at The Art Student’s League of New York, The New York Academy and the National Academy of Art. A decade of study and exhibition in New York solidified his desire to return home to paint the sacred places in New Mexico that continue to inspire. Today, Gill-Tapia lives in a home built by his family and paints every day in a small studio tucked safely under the symbolic arms of the mountains that sheltered his ancestors, so many generations before him.
Gill-Tapia’s process often includes a simplification or reduction of architectural to highlight the main elements. This simplification is a direct reflection of a balanced and quiet life lived in Santa Fe, a place that seems to remain unaffected by the fast pace of life around us. Gill-Tapia empowers an ambassadorial affection to the buildings that for many years have provided a multiplicity of functions for the communities they have served. Beyond their initial spiritual intentions, these buildings provide the local residents a place for coming together as a community. His sense of color represents the intensity of color inherent to New Mexico.
Born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Lopez is among the finest santero artists working in the proud heritage of northern New Mexico wood carvers. His traditional bultos, (3- dimensional carved representations of the saints) for which he has received numerous awards are exhibited at Santa Fe's annual Spanish Market, are avidly sought by museums and private collectors. Equally important to Lopez is his need to transcend the bounds of the traditional santero, and use his art as a medium for expressing the full range of his culture and the world around him. Lopez has exhibited in numerous shows throughout the Southwest and his work is in many prominent collections throughout the country.
The youngest son of Hispanic parents, Miguel Martinez was born in New Mexico in 1951. He discovered his interest in the arts during high school where he enjoyed his hands-on experience with paints, clay and other media. Later, after becoming a successful jewelry designer, he turned to painting, which he believed would more fully express what he wanted to say in his art. He committed himself completely to a study of this discipline, spending five years working with several prominent New Mexico artists. Also, early on he was inspired by Mexican artists Rivera and Zuniga for their portrayal of the dignity of common folk, and he admired Modigliani's works of powerful and poignant human emotions. He knew these were the kinds of messages stirring in his soul and waiting to be painted.
“In my travels around the world, the women I have encountered have all found their way into my paintings. Each face I paint, to me, has a different identity.”
Still in his early twenties, Miguel found a style, which has become his signature. Moved by deep respect and admiration, he began a series of large faces of women, enlarging and stylizing the eyes, and endowed them with mystery of illusive and provocative expressions. He has created them in an ambience of everyday life, giving them a voice which has inordinately proved to speak to the hearts of a universal following.
After almost twenty years this series continues, though Miguel says, "The women have changed as time passed, and I have changed as well. In my travels around the world, the women I have encountered have all found their way into my paintings. Each face I paint, to me, has a different identity. But I feel from the beginning they have all shared a common bond -- their values, their character -- things almost forgotten in our everyday day routines. These women are upright, strong yet gentle, proud of who they are. They have nothing to hide."