Antonio Pelayo: Collections

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Antonio Pelayo: Collections

Authored by Antonio Pelayo
Illustrated by Antonio Pelayo

Antonio Pelayo Bio
for the artist, solitude is the only true home.
Artist Antonio Pelayo, born in Glendale, California
and yet raised for most of his
childhood in the Mexican countryside, has never had
his own country. Moving from an
American suburb to a tiny village has kept his worl
d unstable; yet that very instability
has made him an artist.
Antonio was born in 1973 in a comfortable, quintesse
ntially American suburb: close
neighbors, picket fences, movie theatres, malls, and
English all around. At nine, his
family sent him back to his father
s village in Mexico, where the environment radicall
changed: old broken down adobe churches replaced ga
llerias and the trappings of
suburbia. Some adjustments were difficult, like deal
ing with outdoor plumbing and the
transition to a Spanish speaking environment. Tease
d and ostracized by other kids,
and unable to communicate with the adults, Antonio
looked elsewhere for, if not
companionship, at least solace. He found it with a p
encil and in the pews. He snuck
into the village church and stared up at the murals
of martyrdom. He hid in the dark
corners and sketched the artwork that covered the w
alls and altars.
Antonio sought out the work of other Mexican artists
, making them his mentors; his
friends. Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Orozco, all reve
aled to Antonio the depth of
Mexican art and its own movement from the shadows of
the Catholic Church into the
modern world. He learned Spanish. He strove to mast
er it, hoping to communicate
with the folks of the village. Still, there was a gap
; the language barrier between poor
farmers and the middle class kept him from meeting pe
ople on an intimate level.
Nevertheless, he now had three languages: English,
Spanish, and his drawings.
Years later his family brought him back to Glendale,
which he now saw through the
lens of Mexico. It looked unreal; it did not look li
ke home. Nothing looked like home
anymore; not Mexico, not Southern California. The o
ne home he had was his art.
Though his mastery of pencil and paper began in the
nave of an old country church in
Mexico, in America his skill developed even further.
Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, the
surreal work of H.R. Giger, all mixed and blended wi
th his Mexican childhood to make
Antonio into a true American artist.
In 1994, Pelayo joined Disney Studio
s illustrious Ink & Paint Department, where he
learned traditional celluloid animation techniques.
Once big enough to occupy the
majority of the Disney Studio lot, the department ha
d survived the advent of digital
animation as a tiny one room holdover from the
Golden Era
of American animation.
In this room, amidst some 4,000 different types of pai
nts and inks, Pelayo found
working for a company that had always valued creati
vity, raw talent and
imagination. Through exhibitions organized by the s
tudio to showcase the work of its
employees, Pelayo had his first brush with the notio
n that his works could be framed,
hung on a wall and exhibited in such a way that the
y could have a direct and powerful
impact on an audience.
In 2005, with his first art-show, a new chapter in Pe
s career had begun.
ve tried landscapes and fantasy scenes,
he says,
but it
s the portrait that
fascinates me. That intimacy between the subject and
the artist, the vulnerability that
the subject must have to my interpretation
that is trust at its most divine."
Antonio Pelayo moved inward to find an intimacy that
we all crave. With his own hand
he drew himself into darkness and solitude
into a place where he could discover his
art. Now, that art goes public, and find a home in t
he world beyond.

Publication Date:
1944082336 / 9781944082338
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Full Color
Related Categories:
Art / Native American

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