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Review: Paintings by the Arriola family


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Carlos Arriola, "Abstract Architecture"
  • Carlos Arriola, "Abstract Architecture"

Victor Arriola was a go-to guy in Guatemala if you wanted to learn how to paint, as there were no formal art schools in the country during his day. He remains a formidable artist, though semi-retired. Meanwhile, art has become a family affair: His sons are now prominent in the Central American art scene, and his granddaughter is a rising star.

There's certainly a range of styles across the three generations of artist displayed here. You have the realistic portraiture of Victor Sr., with portraits of a Mayan shaman and his wife. Then there's the suspended-in-air still life work of Victor Jr.

The most engaging on an intellectual level is Carlos' eye-popping "Abstract Architecture," a sort of Escher-esque cityscape in muted earth tones. The painting is all the more remarkable because Carlos is colorblind.

Even more remarkable: His daughter Thais, barely out of high school, is currently the most renowned in this family because of her recent portraits of the Mexico national football team. Her technical ability is certainly impressive. You might get the sense that she's still experimenting here, working towards a style that she can call her own. Examples of her work on display are pop-art-inspired portraits of Jesus Christ, as well as those of notable Hoosiers Michael Jackson and James Dean. Through April 3 at the Earth House Collective.


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