Roberto Vazquez has prepared a new exhibition of 24 colorful paintings and 16 pen and ink drawings for Galeria Pacifico that will be featured during two cocktail inaugurations with the artist on January 23 and 30 during the Wednesday Art Walks downtown, from 6:00 to 10:00 PM. Although he was drawing at a very high level as a child, the path to being a professional artist was a curvy one for Vazquez, who is now in his 40's. As a young man he aspired to be a professional boxer, and as an amateur rose to becoming an alternate on the Mexican Olympic team. However, a serious back injury derailed that ambition. Another career involved managing veterinary clinics in his home town of Guadalajara. This tied in with his lifelong affection for and fascination with animals, which is also evident in his work, especially in this new exhibition. An elephant, goat, lizard, frog and stork are featured. Various types of fish, and insects from dragon flies to butterflies, are also included in this new body of paintings, along with stylized humans that are reminiscent of Kokopelli figures from New Mexico or a child's stick figures with muscles and elongated heads.
One definitive aspect of Vazquez's art in general is the intricate way in which the elements of his paintings interplay with one another visually, especially in the way that humans, insects, and animals might form combined images. A dragon fly or a beetle might become the nose on a man’s face, and his chest could be in the shape of a sea turtle. Insects are fairly common elements, reflecting a fascination since his early childhood. It has lead to references to the famous Mexican artist Francisco Toledo's focus on insects in many of his paintings, but the visual vocabulary is uniquely his. Some of the work also has a feeling reminiscent of African masks and carvings but with a more contemporary feeling. However, the overall uniqueness of his images leads one to realize that Vazquez has tapped into the same spiritual and ethereal antecedents that influenced the Africans as well as the Mixtec artists of Oaxaca, Mexico, rather than consciously affecting their approach. The terms “magical realism,” “naif,” “primitive,” “tribal,” “spiritual,” “mystical,” and even, “contemporary” might all be used to describe his work. Several paintings have symbols in the design that seem to represent energy fields or dreams or other dimensions of reality.
The exhibit will remain mounted at Galeria Pacifico's second floor location through February 13, and the gallery always maintains a significant selection of Vazquez´s work. Galería Pacífico is located at Aldama 174, in El Centro.
Source: Gary Thompson