|Birds of Paradise by Jose Vives-Atsara|
Birds of Paradise is a Jose Vives-Atsara painting that jumps off the canvas. The spiky bright yellow flowers grab the viewer’s attention and contrast with the abstract background. The effect is a dramatic piece, one that is not the typical floral subject matter for the artist. The painting does have all the distinctions of a Vives-Atsara, heavy use of pallette knife, bold colors and subject matter. However he usually rendered more traditional flowers like roses and wildflowers. This indicates that Birds of Paradise was most likely a commission.
Vives-Atsara's oil paintings have been described as both realistic and impressionistic; this piece borderlines on the abstract. The flowers and foliage fall into the impressionism category but the yellow petals have a geometric quality to them that when juxtaposed against the fluid and indistinct background create an abstract effect. The result is a highly impressionistic rendition that appears more abstract as it is viewed. Throughout his career he used only nine colors, and he mixed his paints so well that he didn’t muddle colors. In Birds of Paradise, even though impressionistic, the greens do not become brown and the yellows remains pristine. Vives-Atsara also shows his mastery with surprise pops of blue and purple that individually stand out, but taken as a whole blend effortlessly with the entire piece.
Vives-Atsara studied art at Colegio de San Ramon and the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona. The Spanish Civil War interrupted his studies and he was impressed into the Communist Army. He was a POW and eventually migrated to United States. He landed in San Antonio in 1956 where he established his art career and eventually became a citizen. Vives-Atsara was an art professor at Incarnate Word College. For special guests such as Pope John Paul II, he commissioned paintings as gifts. He enjoyed a celebrated career as an artist and passed away in 2004. He is currently represented in collections including the Museum of Modern Art, Spain, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art is pleased to have several Jose Vives-Atsara paintings including Birds of Paradise for viewing or purchase. Stop by the gallery today.
By Gina Martinez Gladson, JR Mooney Galleries staff