Featured Painting

The main purpose of the Featured Painting Page is to provide some insight into the selected painting. The insights that I provide about the featured paintings involve a brief narrative, as well as a bit about form, content, the process as well as the work's symbolism. This background information is not unlike the captions that you may read or listen to when walking through a physical museum or reading an art survey or art history textbook. In my personal experience, as an artist, art enthusiast and arts educator, I recognize that the onlooker is often interested in background about the work of art being viewed or studied.

Furthermore, I realize that the information provided (by the artist or other source) is often only a sort of springboard for the interested onlooker to begin their experience of that artwork and its background. Although some explanation and insight may provide context, it is, of course, important that the interested viewer completes the experience by providing their own interpretations. Although every artwork is created out of a creative need fed by my current focus, life events, emotional status, state of mind, dreams, and much more, my intent is to leave room for multiple insights and interpretations. This is what makes the experience of art poetic and exciting. With this said, my goal is to feature a painting three times per year, in April, August and December.... come back again and view the latest selected painting with its background information provided by me and the insights provided by you.

app 2 pick a mask 2

man holding a devil mask and maya mask next to his face "app 2 pick a mask 2"
acrylic, pencils, ink, & oil on paper
24 x 18 in © 2013 Gabriel Navar

Dr. José Rodeiro has described the background of this painting as "... a violet background that is reminiscent of the pure abstract and expressive compositions of Robert Motherwell..." I am honored that Dr. Rodeiro was able to view the piece and to have written down his impressions for the newest progress of a painting "app 2 pick a mask 2" which I am now adding to the featured painting page here. Please read his thoughts on the progress of a painting page.

For this painting, which is part of a series about masks, helmets and head "replacements" or "substitutions", I used two masks from my mask collection: el diablo (the devil), and a Maya king. I have a deep interest in masks (as well as the conceptual and symbolic idea, value, and mystery possessed within them); thus, I have collected some from my travels, while others I have received as gifts. For me, masks may serve as a conduit to reveal one's genuine intentions and identity, while simultaneously potentially hiding or disguising one's true self to the world. With this said, masks or otherwise concealing/revealing head "apparatuses" are a major part of my symbolic, surrealist and pop-oriented visual vocabulary.

Hit PLAY to see a slideshow of the previous featured paintings.

Previous Featured Paintings

Visit my Archived Featured Paintings: I have about 20 Previous Featured Paintings. Each one of them has a story, a description about their creation as well as some background about their form, content and symbolism. Looking at the Previous Featured Paintings page I realize that I have had a wide range of interests over time in the figurative, narrative work that I have created over the years. I hope you can appreciate that an element that ties my work together is my desire to create thought provoking compositions that involve the figure, rich colors, and, often, the human theater.