Sunday, November 23, 2008

Guadalupe and San Antonio

Life at Seven Roads Gallery

Today's featured artist: Javier Ramos

Seven Roads Gallery was based outside of Sedona, Arizona between 1999 and 2004. Living in a rural suburb 15 miles south of Sedona, we commuted to Flagstaff for a year. To make a long story short, there were too little sales and too many shops catering the Grand Canyon tourist trade. As artists we were dismayed at requests for photo albums, cheap Navajo trinkets and the s.o.s. (same old stuff).We closed the Flagstaff location sometime around 2001.

For a time I worked for an upscale Sedona shop called Mexidona. The retired owners began the business with Talavera pottery displayed on funky furniture they bought from itinerant Mexican peddlers coming up from Nogales. The demand for the funky furniture caused them to expand and remodel the shop that was formerly an appliance store. When the owners sold the business to a the son of a wealthy Sedona woman, I migrated with the manager to an art co-op down the street.

The art co-op sold space to local artists to display their work. Sedona draws approximately 3 million tourists a year to the new age capital of the universe. The law of supply and demand means that the co-op had a proportion of tourist related crafts as well as higher end, quality artwork. Like Mexidona, there were always the itinerant Mexican peddlers. Jose Medrano was a regular to both Mexidona and the art co-op. The variety, quality and value of his wares made a visit from Jose seem like Christmas. While I produced my own furniture and artwork for a space I rented at the co-op, I also had access to purchase many Mexican crosses, retablos, a few santos and paintings. The work of Javier Ramos is one example. There is no provenance for Javier. "What you see is what you get" to coin a trite phrase. As an art professional with a bent toward the rustic and primitive,Javier Ramos is valued as a wonderful artist.

The example above is an ancient canvas stretched over a decrepit,wooden storm window frame. The layers of cracked,peeling paint-red, blue and white-gouges in the frame, a poorly repaired injury to the canvas above Guadalupe's right shoulder make this a rustic gem. For information on purchase, go to Click on the folk art tab and scroll down to "Ramos painting".

No comments: