Article Text as seen in NHOME Jan/Feb 2014 edition
Mix and Match Juxtaposing of Genres
-Gabriel Diego Delgado
An ever increasing trend in interior design and home decor is the “bridging” or mixing of genres, styles, aesthetics and artists in the fine art placements. The diversification of peoples’ selections has driven a contemporary movement in the way homes are hung to accommodate eclectic tastes. Westerns and traditional landscapes can be hung side-by-side with contemporary; conceptual or abstract, creating a natural flow of imagery that is both easily digestible and visually stimulating.
From Architectural Digest to Veranda, interiors worldwide are showing designers who are constantly perfecting the placement of seemingly conflictive aesthetics in close proximity to each other and disbanding the pigeon-hole effect of singularities of wall ornamentation based on palette, artist, or genre. With so many artists in the area and so many paintings to choose from we should not censor our collective purchases to fit a predetermined mold of how things should fit together. Don’t be afraid to mix and match, take chances and risks and feel free to purchase art not only on investment value but trust your instincts; if you like it buy it—and you will find a place where it will work.
Two such painters in the Greater San Antonio area who are completely opposite in all manners of artistic integrity can easily be differentiated and contrasted, but also can be inexcusably paired and coupled to an existing collection; bearing a sensible enticement of visual appeasement are Western painter, Bill Scheidt and Minimalist, Louis Vega Trevino.
Each artist is known for a signature style, mentored by significant artists of reputation and each has had previous careers that helped shape their present artistic success.
Bill Scheidt is a level 5 certified Texas Professional Farrier(a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming, balancing and the placing of shoes on their hooves), and is a member of the Texas Professional Farriers Association, giving him an incredible insight for his artwork on the anatomy of horses, livestock and the cowboy lifestyle. While Louis Vega Trevino is a trained architect graduating from San Antonio College with degree that spans both architecture and art; granting him an unusual perspective on the two industries; forging an uncanny ability to create work that is influenced by a variety of architectural parameters.
Together, Bill and Louis are at extreme opposites with one depicting an uncanny sense of realism; example being the wild horses in the New Mexico Badlands -- while the other dismisses subject matter altogether for compositional 1960’s minimalism.
Known as a colorist stripe painter, Trevino explores simple geometric alignments with hard edged and blurred line, verticals and horizontal selections that invite the viewer into his world of artistic movement, optical illusion and irregular “Frank Stella-ish”shaped canvases –all making amusingly clever arrangements. Trevino's painting recalls not only the atmospheric color fields of Mark Rothko and Julies Olitski, but also that indeterminate margin where color field interests merge with the geometric and optical abstraction of Gene Davis and Richard Anuszkiewicz. It is in that margin that Trevino's work finds its form, an area once explored by Morris Louis and which Trevino's color-charged compositions have revived and redefined.
On the other hand, Bill Scheidt is a current/ former member of the American Plains Artists, Oil Painters of America and has exhibited in the Museum of Western Art. He has studied at the Scottsdale Artists School; taken workshops with: artist, Roy Andersen; CAA (Cowboy Artists of America) artist, Joe Beeler; CAA artist, Jim Norton; CAA artist, R. S. Riddick and Bruce Greene; and attended various other Cowboy Artists of America workshops. Bill Scheidt is also a Signature Member of the Artists for Conservation Foundation, “Supporting wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability, and environmental education through art that celebrates our natural heritage.”
Stoic in his intentions, Scheidt is a revered and well respected artist by several Native American tribes for his renditions of Native American Culture. Showcasing the unique characteristics of members of the Taos Pueblo (Tiwa or Tewah tribe) and Apache tribe, Scheidt is true to form in capturing this indigenous way of life. Also as a sign of gratitude and respect for his craft, Scheidt was presented a highly prized wovenNavajo blanket by Native American, Joanna Purley which is on display in his personal studio – as a reminder of his servitude to an entrusted legacy.
Contrasting such strict realistic restrictions, Louis is neither tied to formalities of pictorial definitiveness like perspective, detail or anatomical renditions, his paintings are something of a paradox: balancing cool analysis with a hot pursuit of color relationships in which he blurs the distinction between color, line and form such that those elements seem to merge and deconstruct in an astonishing blend of hues that are only conceptual in relation to one another.
Taking more freedom in pictorial placement, shaped canvases are purposefully arranged in a way that is neither fluid nor geometric, but teeters on the brink of symbolic. With no one canvas sharing a common axis, each section can be angled to a distinct degree; making for matching corners, but obsessively evident is the reference to negative space contemplation if work is arranged where no one side touches the other and small sliver of space is left to exist between the edges.
However, Scheidt walks the line of storyteller and conservator, careful to capture details; allowing the viewer to see the wrinkle lines on subjects’ faces, the taunt muscle tones of the animals’ bodies and the magnificent and majestic skylines of Texas, New Mexico, and the Great Plains. We gather a sense of shamanistic and cosmic energies set forth by the Native American portraits, feel the warming sun of the evening luminescence and gravitate to the awe-inspiring mountains and expansive plains. Now let’s see why they are compatible.
Scheidt’s concepts are dependent on composition. Are we drawn into the landscape? Do we understand the relationship between the cowboy and his herd? How does the subject fit within the arrangement of all pictorial layers? Do we believe in his vision?
With Trevino, the composition is the work. Are the edges of the stripes complementing each other? Do we feel intuitively that the color combinations work? Are the angular arrangements cohesive to the fundamental integrity? Are the hues dependent on each other for intrinsic value? Is there a color theory concept that functions on a subversive level that creates energy?
With such questions that we ask ourselves, we begin to understand the work more, to appreciate the cleverness, the underlying principles of the art and see how both artists are driven by the same principles applied by different means. In other words, in order to understand how to play the early Bebop Jazz, musicians had to learn the fundamental aspects of music in order to dismantle the theories and build up a conceptual defrayment of structural arrangements. The famous splatter painter, Jackson Pollock was a trained realist, evolving from traditional landscapes.
Cowboys next to minimalism can work in the right context when we see how vertical and horizontal compositional elements in a landscape seem conversant with simplified lines and stripes that are essentially that – compositional elements that tie a work together.
Of course color plays a role in interior décor, and once we understand lights and darks cool and warm, we can play with winter landscapes next to abstract blue or whitish abstracts.
Education is a tool to expand horizons, in this case collections. Now let’s go out don’t be afraid of new concepts, new art, and new concepts in decorating the home.