Benjamín Domínguez: New Works
Ruiz-Healy Art is pleased to present Benjamín Domínguez: New Works, the artist's second solo show at the gallery. In Dominguez's work, the lines between Spanish Colonial and contemporary art blur. “He likes to tell stories,” says Mexican art critic and curator Teresa del Conde, in town for Domínguez's show. “And some of his stories literally exist. But others are just inventions.” It is not surprising that the chameleon is close to Domínguez's heart and frequently appears in his work. As San Antonio writer John Phillip Santos points out in an essay in the catalog accompanying the exhibition, Domínguez's early introduction to painting came when he was asked to create cinema posters for his local theater, “laying the foundation for the highly narrative, proto-cinematic style of his mature paintings.”
As a student in the '60s at the celebrated Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City, he became intrigued with the colonial style, exploring it more deeply after joining the staff of the historic Museo del Virreinato, or the Museum of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, built by the Jesuits in the 1580s. Obviously, Domínguez has followed the Flemish school of painters such as Jan Van Eyck — see “Los Sentidos (The Senses),” with its two bland-faced but fabulously turned-out figures facing off, one holding a perfume bottle (smell), the other a pomegranate (taste). The scene is reflected in a small circular mirror mounted high on the wall.