By Eric A. Eliason
Jesus, matadors, panthers, bandits, Indians, motion picture stars, waifs, and, in fact, Elvis are famous icons of the oft-despised, uber-kitsch artwork type of black velvet portray. In Black Velvet Art writer Eric A. Eliason and photographer Scott Squire current a finished evaluate of this covertly-loved and overtly-reviled tradition.
In cooperation with a community of artists, creditors, importers, and gallery vendors in Tijuana, la, Seattle, and Calgary, this e-book attracts from the biggest survey of velvet portray ever undertaken. The e-book lines velvet's ancient improvement as a people artwork formed via either indigenous traditions in addition to Western client expectancies in such markets because the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, and especially the U.S./Mexico border and the black velvet capital of Tijuana. In black velvet, classification and style problem paintings as a client phenomenon, democratic spirit faces down elitism, copy questions originality, and sexuality seduces and provokes religiosity.
What is most important approximately black velvet artwork to many american citizens is its signaling of the nadir of undesirable style. Black velvet is the ''anti-art'' in lots of methods. Eliason seeks to discover how and why black velvet serves this functionality and to ascertain methods it merits a gleaming redemption.
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Indd 3 3 10/21/10 12:04 PM bandolero, and the requisite menacing squint, cut a visage different from gringo hero types. 1 A small minority of Mexico’s population claims pure Spanish ancestry, and a slightly larger minority are more or less pure Indian. indd 4 10/20/10 2:00 PM the adventurous conquistadors (as seen in velvet with helmeted soldiers and sailing galleons) or Aztec mythology (as seen in velvet with Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl—the star-crossed lovers whose eponymous volcanoes dominate Mexico City’s skyline).
Now that the threat of a lung transplant has lifted, his mind has turned again to velvet and he has begun collecting again. Despite perhaps once thinking that lending his paintings would mean he’d seen the last of them, he has begun to consider retrieving them one day to hold another, even bigger, RAVE. indd 2 10/21/10 12:04 PM Matadors &Mexicana When tourists go to Mexico, they want to bring back something Mexican. In defining what is Mexican, it is not so much how Mexicans see themselves that determines what tourists want, but those things that seem the most different or those most readily associated with the way Mexico is conceived by tourists.
Pressed on whether or not he is exploiting the naivete of his customers who might not understand black velvet’s position in the art world or might not think to ask just what exactly it is that his “certificates of authenticity” actually authenticate, Bill’s eyes twinkle and he responds with good humor, “Do you really think they don’t know? Aren’t they in on the joke? Don’t you think they ‘get it’ when they read on my Web site that each painting they buy is one of a ‘limitless edition’? Isn’t that why they buy my paintings?