An Alfredo Arreguín painting is unmistakably unique. Look at that thunderous palette; lose yourself in so much labyrinthine design.
Fish swim, birds soar, water jets. An Arreguín landscape teems with mosaics of lush activity.
The marvel of Arreguín’s artwork is how his brushstrokes straddle the actual world with a wondrous fantastical one.
“I just start painting and things happen,” says Arreguín, 81, who paints daily from a basement studio at his Seattle home. He’s been creating pattern painting since 1969, an artistic signature that can be traced back to his interest in the baroque architecture and the patterned floor tiles found in the churches of his native Mexico.
Arreguín’s canvases, the poet Tess Gallagher has written, “carry a dynamic implosion of life.” The marvel of Arreguín’s artwork is how his brushstrokes straddle the actual world with a wondrous fantastical one. The flora and fauna of a jungle, for example. Or, the Amazonian rainforest.
But as a Pacific Northwesterner for some 60 years, this region’s scenic beauty has unequivocally imprinted itself on his imagination.
“How could nature be ignored?” he asks. “How could it not be part of the menu of your mind?”
Here, then, is a sliver from the artist’s massive tome of work that has been heralded by the Smithsonian, the state of Washington and the government of Mexico.
As we envisioned this issue of Ampersand, nothing seemed more suitable in rousing us from the lethargy of winter and heralding spring than these enchanted images by Alfredo Arreguín.