Featured Artist | Armando Lopez – Spring 2013

Armando Adrian‐Lopez is a Tarascan, native born in the village of Santa Maria Michoacan in southwest Mexico, now living in Abiquiu, New Mexico. He uses both native and Catholic imagery in his mixed media work and his paintings. The underlying structure of his work stems from the folk art tradition of fashioning figures out of corn husks, twigs, reeds, and grass.

Armando Lopez _SwallowsWhen Armando was a child, his mother told him the story of a doll made by her father when she was a girl. She said the doll was so infused with a magical human likeness that the eyes (made from marbles) seemed to follow all that went on around it. The story became etched in Armando’s young mind, and at age four he began making dolls with the notion of instilling in them the same magical qualities as the doll in the story.

He currently resides with his family in Abiquiu, New Mexico, on an organic farm that he tends in his spare time. Many of the basic materials used in his 3D Mixed‐Media sculptures are grown or collected on the farm. He also sculpts and fires the ceramic panels, heads, body parts and ornaments used in his work.

Theater college in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico was Adrian‐Lopez’ only official art schooling. His grandfather was a basket maker and from him, he learned how to weave and construct objects from different materials. At first, he made baskets, too, and then he began to imbue them with a personality; taken perhaps from a tale, a myth, a fable, pastoral, vesicle, an apparition, a mystical encounter, or a dream. His baskets grow wings, rays, and faces. He still essentially is a
basket maker; an artistic/theatrical basket maker; however, the Festival has chosen one of his paintings as our 2013 Spring Festival’s representative image.

Through painting, Armando depicts his artistic visions and inner life in a detailed, colorful, and multi‐leveled format. He builds upon the foundation laid down by the old European Masters.

Using layers of under painting and glazing, he builds up the paint so that the viewer is drawn into the depths of the canvas.

He applies paint as under‐painting, and then he adds many opaque layers on top of that. Many transparent glazes are then added onto that. Much of his subject matter ranges from the angelic through the mundane and sometimes shamanistic. Much of it stems from his interpretation of the native Mexican view of the world and of the New and Old Testament. Nowadays, he paints mostly in oils, though he sometimes uses egg tempera, mixing my own egg tempera using natural mineral pigments and egg yolk. The colors are deep, soft, and, glowing.

“No one bequeathed my dreams to me, No one taught them to me. The muse of my inspiration comes every night and like Prometheus, each day I am disarmed arming my dreams,” he says of his work.

During the 2013 Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts, Armando Adrian‐Lopez will be located in the Featured Artist booth at the intersection of Mill Avenue and 5th Street.

One of his original paintings will be added to the Tempe Festival of the Arts Featured Artist Gallery, and will be on display at the Mill Avenue District offices at 310 South Mill Avenue, Suite A‐201, in downtown Tempe, Arizona.