“Arturo’s work combines his rich New Mexico heritage with an international sophistication...Life is full for this native son who celebrates life and the land with his art and in doing so, lends the rest of us a bit of his magic.” (Focus Santa Fe, October 2000)
Arturo Chavez was born in Embudo, New Mexico, and raised in both Los Alamos and Chimayó, New Mexico. This culturally rich area with its geographically striking landscapes sparked a deep and abiding devotion for painting in Chavez from an early age. He painted throughout his childhood and teenage years, but didn’t turn his full attention to his artwork until the late 1970’s.
In fact, Chavez first studied classical guitar at the University of New Mexico before deciding to channel his creative energy to painting. He worked as a sales executive and corporate pilot while taking figure drawing classes and studying art in the museums in New York and Chicago, and began painting full time in 1983 after taking a hiatus to sail the coast of California. He then began painting large-scale landscapes and abstract, expressionistic renderings of Indian dancers. Eventually, he moved from watercolors to oil and acrylics.
Chavez’ style is his own, but he acknowledges strong influences from several mentors, including Irby Brown, Wilson Hurley, Mie Shu Ou and Arthur Sussman. He has enjoyed international recognition, having exhibited in the U.S. Embassies in Moscow, Croatia and Guyana. Among his list of clients are many corporate and private collectors, such as the Madi Museum in Budapest, Hungary, Fuji Electric in Japan and the Bernalillo County Courthouse in Bernalillo, New Mexico.
The Fall 2001 Tradicion Revista stated that “New Mexico landscape painter Arturo Antonio Chavez is an artist of great skill, creating some of the most compelling images of the American Southwest…One look at one of Arturo’s landscape paintings and it is immediately apparent to the viewer that this relationship of artist to landscape is a long-lived love match.” Chavez still enjoys painting the landscape of New Mexico, but has also branched out to the desert southwest, Big Sur forests and the beaches of Northern California.
Chavez resides and paints in Placitas, New Mexico with his wife Jennifer and their son Benjamin.
References: ArturoChavez.com, PlacitasArtists.com