New DVD Offering!
Revered Medicine Man of the Oglala Sioux
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It is a typical J. L. Covarrubias art performance:
the audience assembles, the room is well lighted. An array of large
colorful paintings -- some as big as compact cars -- greet stragglers as
they enter the art space.
The art connoisseur's conversations mix with the
clinking of wine glasses and pulsating music.
The connoisseurs move from painting to painting, sharing
responses about the pieces. The music stops and the gallery director
gathers everyone's attention. Her introduction is brief yet
informative. Then she introduces the artist..... and the lights dim.
The music starts again. Spotlights flash on to illuminate a large
blank canvas on the far side of the room.
Covarrubias enters. He is tall, dressed in black,
his pants lined in small silver conchos. His long hair -- velvety
black with silver threads -- cascades over his shoulders. He nods
toward the audience. He moves to the canvas and dips a brush into a
plastic cup. He splatters the paint at the canvas. It explodes
in a fiery red arch. More colors from other cups are splashed on.
The colors come alive, at once contrasting and blending.
A form emerges. A few deft swaths produce a face. Detail is
added in studious but brief pauses. Now and then Covarrubias stops
to consider his next move, like a champion boxer sizes up his challenger.
The strokes are calligraphic and flowing. Three
simple lines become a face. An hour passes and the canvas is filled
with color. A solitary figure surrounded by color dominates it, the
brush strokes giving the work vibrant, extravagant motion. An hour
passed and another Covarrubias painting is completed.
The artist lays down his brush and turns to the
audience. He bows and smiles. Then he enters the audience,
saying hello and thanking everyone. He leaves.
The painting is now the center of attention for all.
They approach the canvas and marvel at the precise vignettes clustered
through the painting. A bright green blob of paint is upon closer
inspection, a rotund smiling Buddha. The secondary scenes accent the
dominant central figure in a compelling way. The painting is J. L.
Covarrubias' unique way of story-telling.
As Covarrubias intended, the
audience has experienced something truly different.
Something spiritual and charismatic as the old Southwest itself.