The Garden of Good & Evil
October 4 – November 30, 2019
HDJ Studio Gallery
Armando Sebastian's paintings are deeply rooted in Mexican folk art and narratives of fantasy and surrealism like those found in writings by Gabriel García Márquez and Paulo Coelho and the naïve and primitive painting styles of artists like Frida Kahlo and Henri Rousseau. Armando uses the term magical realism.
Armando lives and works in Dallas, Texas
My first trip out of my home town was to Mexico City. when I was 5 years old, there are a few things that I remember very clearly: our visit to Teotihuacan; the two pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, with stone carvings of snakes and humans all over the place ,people praying ,people picnicking, people selling all kinds of things; calacas, little Dioses (Aztec Idols), hats and Mexican candies. The Cathedral …the magnificence of this building, the smell of old wood, the silence, the sense of the reverence and devotion, the beauty of the saints and angels in the retablo of the central altar. I also remember the grand Zocalo, the Alameda Central, and all the wonderful structures built by Mexican hands while driving around the city in my grandpa’s old truck listening to Trio Ballads. This was an enchanted world to me, a unique mixture of the Aztec Kingdom and the Spaniards.
Once when we were walking in downtown Mexico City I felt a mysterious presence in the air, I remember being so excited because my mom was always telling me tales about almost everything, I think that stimulated my imagination and all those things made me fall in love with my culture and the ancient Mexico.
Since then I have felt a strong connection with my people, and I draw and paint using bright colors inspired by Mexican folk art, and the human body. Rooted in autobiographical details from my childhood and adolescence you'll find yourself into the atmosphere of human pain and vulnerability reminiscent of the ex-voto paintings. My work also includes paintings with reference to poets, music icons and symbols amid vibrant landscapes. In a world of child-like fascination with elements like the folds of cloth, texture of insect wings, wallpaper stains, or color of bird feathers, rooms transformed into tropical gardens in an enigmatic way I like to lead the viewer to explore questions of identity and gender. Perhaps my art can most closely identify with the genre of magical realism.