2011 art works 2011 Exhibitions Promoting your Art Videos

A very puppy (and happy) Christmas!


Christmas is approaching. As a proud dog lover I wanted to include in my Christmas wishes, not only nature in general, but also our pets in particular. I know that some of my friends think that as humans we are above or in the pinnacle of the animal kingdom. “Animals are animals and they should be treated as such” is a common phrase denominator.

But for all of us who have had a closer contact with animals, whether in the wild or at home, we know that this view of ourselves as superior sometimes falls short of the mark when compared to our animal friends. Whether cats, dogs, horses, cows, pigs, elephants, bees or whatever your animal friend of choice is, we know from experience of the love, affection, intelligence and companionship that they provide us.

I have a phrase that may shock some. But the fact is that I always say that looking at my dogs’ eyes I do not see original sin, while I can see it in the eyes of most human beings I have met during my life. Animals are innocent; they are capable of amazing feats and of kindness and feelings that only those of us who enjoy “pet extended families” can understand.

I do not think it is just by chance that the story of the manger is framed by many of the domestic animals of choice at the time of Christ’s birth. The adoring company of sheep, goats, the faithful donkey that carried the pregnant Virgin Mary, the camels that brought the 3 Kings from the far east are all clear signs that our animals are as much a part of this story of redemption as we are (St. Francis of Assisi, just to cite an example, was a great believer in this all encompassing view of creation).

So, to my late dear Khamala who must be enjoying the green pastures of the Lord, and to my present day family members Zamba and Pancha, and to all of your family pets, farm animals and the animal kingdom in general, a very merry Christmas to you all from all of us as well.

  And I hope you enjoy this video I found. It is extremely cute.

Growl, meow and Merry Christmas to all!

2011 art works 2011 Exhibitions Exhibitions Promoting your Art Videos Visual Jazz

Have I been naughty or nice?

It’s the last Monday before Christmas and a good time to start looking into whether we have been naughty or nice. I guess, like most people except the very few, I have been both of those things but with a marked effort towards getting to be the latter.

Life is short and as the years start moving faster, regrets start piling up. As you can see I am not one of those “no regrets” type of people. I think we all regret doing certain things and, most importantly, I do believe that we should feel sorry about certain things we have done during our life. Most of us have had moments in which we have been hurtful, absent, or simply awful to others. So, as my first formal and public step into the spirit of the season, here is my heartfelt apology to all the people I have hurt this year, for any reason, and whether knowingly or not. To all of you, please accept my call for forgiveness and my promise of a real effort to be better in the future.

Now, one of the things I do not regret about 2011 is where I have gone with my art. It has been shaky at times, a little hard to keep up in terms of quality and quantity of work, but it has proven a breakthrough year in many respects. For that reason I would like to thank, following in my Christmas spirited line of thought, all those people who have helped my art along this year. From family, friends, admirers and critics, to journalists, the media in general, gallery owners, and buyers. You have all helped me along this difficult road of artistic expression and I am very grateful for your support, comments and criticism.

So, now let us turn to some new work!

This is another one of my new paintings from the second semester of 2011 and which have just been uploaded to my website at

It is called ”Blow by Blow”. Inspired by many of those golden years brassy tunes that are too harsh for the midnight hour but give us a hell of a kick in the rear at times of sorrow, or simply when we are a bit down and we need a nice shot in the arm.

To accompany this painting, I invite you to enjoy Duke Ellington live with his orchestra performing one of those cheerful songs and one of the titles which inspired my composition, this one called coincidentally “Blow by Blow”.

Looking through my videos ( I would like to bring forward one from February this year about the “Making of” my Standard Bank Foundation Gallery Exhibition which took place in March- April 2011. I had forgotten how cool the music sounded. I hope you enjoy it too, either again or for the first time if you have not seen it before.

See you soon!


2011 art works 2011 Exhibitions Promoting your Art Videos Visual Jazz

Yeah, Blue but compared to what….

First of all, I have been talking a lot lately about my UK agents in my notes and commentaries everywhere I am found online (Facebook, Twitter, here in my Blog, and so on). So you may ask, who are BLUE PERIOD.

As I said at some point before, this company is headed by partners Matthew Bremner and Dawid Kotur. They have developed a very professional, yet unorthodox approach to art promotion. They work in a direct and personal fashion with artists, in a manner far from the sometime promiscuous and occasionally harsh environment that is commercial art. They look into the soul of the artists, showing the new face of art as positively creative rather than obscure. Their work as an agency is an example of that, both for their transparency and their willingness to work with artists and their development in the rather complex commercial environment.  

If you want to learn more about them I would like to invite you to read  Matthew and Dawid’s interview by The New Wolf, and where they had the generous idea of featuring some of my paintings:  Also visit their website at

Now to some more new art.

This is another one of my new paintings from the second semester of 2011 and which have just been uploaded to my website at

It is called ”Compared to what”, a jazzy and movement filled interpretation of the 1969 classic Eugene McDaniels song which today is better know both for a very nice John Legend new version, but mostly for a very funny, often infuriating, little skit on SNL. I hope you enjoy it. And as long as we are here, enjoy the original song…it’s very cool.

Until next time!


2011 art works Exhibitions Promoting your Art What is Art

Cézanne, the École, and the fuel of rejection

The story says that Cézanne was turned down by the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts when he applied for entrance. He kept going, and admired as he was by many of his contemporaries, he only managed to have his first individual exhibition in 1895, when he was fifty-six years old (at the famous Gallerie Vollard, a shop on the Rue Laffitte, in Paris).

In 1999, “Rideau, crouchon et compotier”, painted in between 1893 and 1894 was sold for a staggering US$60.5 million. A fitting price for a post impressionist painter considered, by most, as the father of modern painting.

This little, yet powerful story, serves as an appropriate preamble for what I am about to say about the role of criticism into an artist’s development.

 Many of my friends have gone through this and I go through it every day. As artists we need the critical view (both positive and negative) of our artistic expression. After all, art is to be viewed by others, not kept between closed doors.  Critics are everywhere as each view entails a criticism of some sort (there is even the old show business adage about the fact that “everyone is a critic”). And the fact is that all who participate of the art experience will have an opinion, and if given the chance, will impart their views to whomever wishes to hear them.

And that is fine. Criticism is good. Even criticism generated from greed, envy, bad blood, or even ignorance…it is all good because it allows us to see things from other perspectives than our own. And for an artist, this is like a gold mine. A source of feelings, new to ourselves, that should lead to more creativity.

But as I have said so many times before, the soul of an artist cracks easily, hurts more than most, and heals only with love and kindness.

That is the reason why rejection, because of its harshness, tends to be one of the worst forms of criticism for an artist. It is as valid as many others, but still, it is the most hurtful because, as we tend to be to critical of ourselves and too sensitive for our own good, it feels final, with shades of a dead end and brushstrokes of questions about our own artistic and personal prowess. And so it damages the most.

Yet, rejection is an intricate part of our maturing process, and of becoming deeper and more sensitive artists.

The key is knowing that rejection is never final. It is not even a detour. It is simply a crossroad where we have taken a certain road for the wrong reasons, or too soon for us or for others to understand where we are going. Knowing that simple fact allows us to push into other parallel roads, look for other ways, or review our own reasons so as to find, within ourselves and within others, that little extra quality, emotion, or explanation, that will open a door which now seems closed or open doors we had not considered as unlocked to us before.

Cézanne is a clear example of this because he simply never gave up on his own convictions. Time was never a real issue (otherwise he would have reconsidered his career). He may have modified and changed as time went by, but he never gave up on his idea that what he was doing was what his heart, and soul, were telling him. And that was nothing more, and nothing less, than painting his own path into a new expression of what he saw and felt.

Unfortunately, as happened with him and with so many other artists throughout history, we may not reap all the benefits or the public recognition of our own artistic endeavors. If we are lucky, that may be something that only time will tell. But we must know that for that to happen, the eyes of future critics will have to change, sometimes mature, or in other cases simply open up into seeing our own personal ways of perception as making a difference, or having a peculiarity that future generations can appreciate.

But whether the formality of history judges us kindly, or none at all, for us the value of what we do must not reside there.

It must lie within us rather than outside ourselves. And we will only reach the summit of our own genius (and I do believe that we all have the spark of genius within us) if, after learning each and every lesson, we break through the pain and barrage of circumstantial opinion and forge ahead in our individual paths.

The truth is that we were given our talents to be exploited to the fullest of our abilities. And we will be judged by ourselves, others, history, God or simply time, by what we have done with those gifts.

Thus, it is not in playing a blame game that the answer will be found. At the end, the fact remains that as harsh as it may sound, we cannot blame anything or anyone other than ourselves for not doing everything in our power to “invest and multiply” those talents. And in that multiplication we may find the “spark”, that artistic moment of brilliance that will make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others. And that will be our legacy, our tiny or giant footstep (that does no matter) into the long path of human civilization.

2011 art works 2011 Exhibitions Promoting your Art Visual Jazz

A Wolf, some rounds, a hottie, Blue periods and an “A”, all from the second half of 2011

I have kept a little quiet, which does not mean that I have not kept busy.

First of all (this is like an award ceremony) I would like to thank London’s THE NEW WOLF and my UK agents at BLUE PERIOD PLC  (headed by partners Matthew Bremner and Dawid Kotur) for their commitment. An article was published in this very good and up & coming underground art publication on their great work and they had the generous idea of featuring some of my paintings.

For those who have not read the article, I invite you to do so at I hope you enjoy it.


Now to some new art.

This is one of my new paintings from the second semester of 2011 and which have just been uploaded to my website at

It is called “Astor’s Tristezas de un doble A”, a humble and tiny, but powerful,  painting inspired by Piazzolla’s work for bandoneon and the influence Jazz and New York City had in the early life of this tango genius, a man who composed some of the most exciting music of the second half of the XX Century and which I highly recommend to those who don’t know him.

Next, another new piece (also found at from the second half of this year. It is called “Mr. S’s Spring Rounds” and it is a cheerful homage to all those jazzy versions of Igor Stravinsky’s Spring Round Dances, from his great classical masterpiece “The rite of Spring”.

Well, this is all for now. Oh, one more thing before I forget! A big thank you to Franziska San Pedro from Flavor Designs who named me one of the 15 “hottest” male artists. Franziska does not clarify what she means by hot, but either way, I am very honored!!!!! 🙂

The other 14 hotties and Franziska’s website can be found at

Back soon with more paintings to show.