As I entered C-Art Studio, I was greeted by Richard Martinez, who was downing a cold brew on the porch. Martinez and Ricky Armendariz's show Hybrid Vistas: Two South Texas Painters, officially kicked off my CAM reviewing season last night.
Armendariz and Martinez, both professors at the University of Texas at San Antonio, joined forces once again (they previously teamed up in 2004 for a show at Ken Little's Rrose Amarillo Gallery) to show their work. As the shows description states, the nine pieces on view showcase their "interest in bringing together varied and disparate visual influences to create hybrid statements in their richly worked paintings."
The fusion of styles is evident once you step foot in the studio. Armendariz draws patrons in with his acrylic on carved birch plywood work "Blown off course, guided by spirits ..." a large piece that captured my attention from the get-go.
Ricky Armendariz's "Blown off course, guided by spirits ... "
Martinez's simplistic graphite on duralar (polyester film) works had me examining the method of each piece, especially "Pacific Dawn," an oil-on-linen piece that presents a different perspective from each angle, due to the lighting. (I recommend taking the piece in from the left side where it can be seen to its full effect without reflecting a gaudy glare.)
Richard Martinez's "Young American"
Armendariz (who we hailed in our Best of 2006 as Best Up and Coming artist) unites Western history with a Chicano twist; His richly hued landscapes act as the backdrop for his carved plywood masterpieces, while he occasionally tosses in a short phrase (written by Armendariz and influenced by Dwight Yoakum, Johnny Cash, Hank William and Freddie Fender, to name a few).
Ricky Armendariz's "Tu crazy crazy crazy baby ... "
Martinez borrows from Modernists with his straightforward works that elicits feelings of nostalgia, with graphite dust scattered around the artwork giving it a not-so-clean finish.
Richard Martinez's "Untitled"
The two-person show successfully brings together two different artists who complement each other. From simple to intricate, Martinez and Armendariz display their rich artistry and their ability to borrow from great art movements.
Hybrid Vistas: Two South Texas Painters
1426 W. Craig Pl.
(210) 380-6508 myspace.com/c_artstudio