Artist of Note | Arturo Chavez

A deeper purpose

Arturo Chavez, Lovers for Life, oil, 36 x 48.

Arturo Chavez, Lovers for Life, oil, 36 x 48.

This story was featured in the September 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Arturo Chavez is searching for something beyond what he can see. Whether it’s the sprawling vistas of Grand Canyon National Park or the elegant lines of two people dancing the tango, the artist strives to find and convey the deeper meaning behind his subjects and why he wants to paint them. “I ask myself: Is there a purpose in depicting a subject in a certain way, or is it enough to paint what is plainly in front of me without question?” he says.

Chavez has fostered a long and flourishing career as a painter. He devoted many years to painting landscapes in his realistic style with a special focus on light and shadow. “I work from both life and photos in a style that reflects tranquility and muted harmony in both color and design,” he says. However, the artist has recently focused his efforts on figurative works that feature a variety of dancers, as well as animal portraits. “I believe it is important to allow myself the space to experiment,” he says. “But I also need to be inspired. It’s not what I paint but how I paint that is important.”

Chavez describes his style as naturalistic realism, in which he strives to bring about an emotional sense of the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional plane. “I would like to convey a sense of universal expression that we all can agree upon,” he says. “I am not interested in my personal experience as an artist as much as my desire to include others in that experience.” —Mackenzie McCreary

Chavez is represented by Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Total Arts Gallery, Taos, NM; Four Corners Gallery, Tucson, AZ; and www.arturochavez.com.

This story was featured in the September 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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