I do not understand jazz music. What seems to be a jumble of drunken notes hides a deeper math that my brain is not sensitive enough to contain. The instruments seem to quarrel with each other and out of this comes music.
Duvian Montoya is an artist. His art is like jazz. I don’t understand it and it probably has been used in more analogous forms that a good writer wouldn’t dare abuse the privilege of using it again.
Duvian’s art is like jazz, but I like it. It is a measured dose of contained liveliness. It is an insane measure of controlled movements and colors and mad swirls. It is what impressionism has wanted and what photo-realism lacks.
It’s different every time you look at it.
Duvian referred to his art as an ‘adventure’.
“Painting and drawing were always my solitary adventures as a child,” Duvian said. But in reality, his work is not just an adventure to him. It’s an adventure to the viewer.
Duvian’s “La Familia Unida” brings you to the gathering of a friend’s family. There is a voyeuristic sensation but under that is a vicarious joy. You don’t know the people here but they accept you.
All of his work is full of this liveliness. Each piece is storied and bursting with breath.
It’s living history. It’s not an Anglicised history. It’s Duvian’s history and his sense of it.
“El Sacrificio de mis Padres” is an ode to my parents,” he said. “It’s about the sacrifice they made by leaving their native land and culture of Colombia for the promise of America. They came to the States to give my siblings and me a better opportunity at our own dreams, like being an artist.
“In the painting, you see a Hispanic family on guard and not very comfortable in their Anglo surrounding. The only one that isn’t is the child that is looking directly at the viewer with his fist in the air and the American flag in front of him.”
Any abbreviated biography of the artist would include his work restoring turn-of-the-century lithographs for museums and collections around the world.
The job in restoration brought him all over Europe to study the works of legendary masters, a job that “kept food on the table” but it was also an invaluable learning tool.
Was he was never daunted by the experience?
“Art should never intimidate only inspire. If it wasn’t for my trip to Europe I don’t believe I would be creating the type of work that I am today,” he explained.
And so this gorgeous, vibrant amalgam of everything the artist has ever learned will only continue to evolve. As the artist himself evolves.
Part of this evolution was transplanting an artist from the North East into New Mexico. Famous for its Santa Fe art scene and desert landscape oil paintings, Duvian acknowledges that there is “nothing like New Mexico” and feels he can grow as the art scene here changes.
“I think there is a craving in the southwest to see more than just landscapes and I hope to be part of that diverse revolution,” he said.
Duvian Montoya shows his work throughout the Southwest and East Coast.