The Ripoff Artists Down Mexico Way

The Ripoff Artists are singing the praises of Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991). In dynamic colourful style, Tamayo combined Mexican subject matter and the earthy solid shapes of Aztec and Mayan art with the forms and styles of artists like Picasso and Matisse. The Ripoff Artists will compose their own tributes to Tamayo’s 1981 painting “Tres Personajes Cantando” (Three Singing People). Painted in a restrained palette, this work demonstrates Tamayo’s masterful use of colour and rich texture.

Tamayo worked at the National Museum of Archaeology in Mexico City, then lived in New York where he saw works by European painters. He rejected the political themes and murals of Mexican artists such as Diego Riviera. Instead, Tamayo drew on both the Pre-Columbian art of Mexico and on modern European principles of art. He worked mainly on canvas, combining vibrant colours and textured surfaces with semi-abstract shapes and themes drawn from Mexican life. He summed up his approach to art when he said, “Art is a means of expression that must be understood by everybody, everywhere. It grows out of the earth, the textures of our lives, and our experience.”

From Tuesday July 3 to Saturday July 7 at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre in Oliver, come in and enjoy the harmonious interplay of artists working, each in their own medium, as they strain to hit the right note by week’s end. The usual band of improvisational maestros will be there: Enid Baker, Tara Hovanes, Kurt Hutterli, Terry Irvine, Barbara Levant, Norberto Rodriguez , Marion Trimble, JoAnn Turner, Russell Work. This year, they’re also joined by guest artist, Jan Kreut.

Monday evening, July 2, join the artists at an opening reception from 6 to 8 pm at the Quail’s Nest. There will be Mexican food, and a display of preliminary pieces based on other works by Tamayo.

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