Latin American Art
There were so many wonderful Latin American Artists to choose from. However, I could only chose a few, so I chose to write about Tamayo Rufino, Gunther Gerzso and Carmen Lomas Garza. I chose these artist because there work is truly unique, completely different from each others and they didn’t show the typical art one would think of when thinking of Latin American Art. For instance most people have seen the traditional Mexican painted pottery, Day of the Dead images and Murals. These artists capture something very personal to them and their lives.
Tamayo Rufino (August 26,1899 – June 24, 1991)
Tamayo Rufino was born in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico in 1899. When he was 12 years old in 1911 his parents died and he ended up moving to Mexico City to live with family. In 1917, Rufinos aunt enrolled him into the Escuela Nacional de Artes, Plasticas. It was there that his first official studies of the arts began. Later, he left to study art on his own and began working for Jose Vasconcelos at the Department of Ethnographic Drawings in 1921, where he eventually became head of department of Ethnographic drawing and the Archaeological Museum.
Above are two works by Rufino Tamayo done later in his art career. Perro Ladrandole a la luna (Dog Barking at the Moon) has very little cubism to it compared to his earlier work, but still has some beautifully rich, warm and vibrant colors. I personally like his later work better. Out of all of his paintings these two really stood out to me. To see some of Tamayo’s earlier work with strong cubism here is a link http://www.adanigallery.com/Tamayo/main.html .
Gunther Gerzso (June 17, 1915 – April 21, 2000)
Gunther Gerzso was born in Mexico City. His dad was an immigrant from Hungaria and his mother was German. While Gunther was an infant his father died and his mother remarried a German Jeweler. Eventually her Mother divorced her second husband and sent Gunther to live with his uncle in Lugano, Switzerland. It was there that he was exposed to the world of Art and Theater. In 1931 Gunther was sent back to live with his Mother in Mexico City where he began work in set designs and writing plays. It wouldn’t be until the late 1930’s when he would start to paint as a hobby. Friends impressed with his work encouraged him to submit his paintings for an art show. Thrilled that two of his works were selected for the Cleveland Museum of Art he eventually considered himself more of a painter than a set designer.
I’m not a big fan of Abstract art, but Gerzso’s art is truly fascinating. I really enjoyed looking through all of his work and to me I think the reason his work appeals to me is because of the way he uses his colors. For example in the painting Paisaje Espejismo (Landscape Mirage) the colors don’t look solid, but instead more of a blend of colors to make a single color and shadows. It’s difficult to explain, but I hope you can see what I mean. Here’s link to some more of his beautiful work http://www.midcenturia.com/2010/12/gunther-gerzso-paintings.html.
Carmen Lomas Garza (1948 – present)
Carmen Lomas Garza a native Texan born in Kingsville. Like many Mexican American homes, family and traditions run deep and it was no different in Carmen’s home. Despite living in a very close knit, supportive home, life was not easy when she ventured outside of the protection of the Mexican Community she lived in. Outside she was exposed to racism and prejudices and the Chicano movement during the 60’s and 70’s helped gravitate her to take pride in her Mexican and Native American Heritage and it was then that she decided at the young age of 13 that she wanted to be an artist. Her goal was to paint positive art about Mexican families to support the Chicano movement. She ultimately went to College studied art education and studio art, where she eventually received her Master of Education from Antioch Graduate School from Juarez Licnoln Center and her Master of Art from San Francisco State University. She currently resides in San Francisco, California.
I absolutely love her art and I mean that. Her art has a very folk art feel to them. I really like the colors and the details in her work really capture the Mexican American home. All of her art was memories from her childhood, but being Hispanic myself she also captured my childhood in her art. When I saw these paintings for the first time it brought me back to all those nights my family would sit outside on a hot summers night eating watermelon and all the holiday family gatherings in the kitchen making Tamales. Tamales was truly a family affair, because of the amount of work involved, it was so much fun and what wonderful memories.
Latin American Art
Latin American Art is very colorful, full of tradition, genuine to their heritage and these three artists truly capture that diversity.