Thursday, March 22, 2018

Heavy Mex

Gregg Chadwick
Heavy Mex (Sergio Arau)
12"x12" oil on panel 2018
private collection Los Angeles 
(Exhibited and Sold at The Other Art Fair, Los Angeles 2018)

With his music, words and images, Sergio Arau has inspired me to create a series of paintings that feature him as the main character in my painted movies. Rock Star, actor, director, screenwriter, and artist Sergio Arau has often performed while wearing gear honoring Mexico's most famous wrestling star El Santo (The Man In the Silver Mask). Known as lucha libre, Mexican wrestlers such as El Santo are defenders of the poor and vulnerable. By taking on the persona of the Luchador (wrestler), Josh Kun writes in Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America, Sergio Arau and his bands have mixed "the traditional with the contemporary, the rural with the urban, the American with the Mexican, the charro with the rockero."

My painting Heavy Mex (Sergio Arau) carries Sergio Arau into a Los Angeles rock club where he wildly strums his fender guitar. Crossing his chest along his guitar strap is a sash in the colors of the Mexican flag commemorating Sergio's serious/not so serious campaign for the Mexican Presidency. 

Sergio Arau Discussing His Candidacy for President of Mexico

He is the son of film director Alfonso Arau and the husband of the brilliant actress, writer, and director Yareli Arizmendi. 

Sergio Arau rose to prominence as a founding member of the band Botellita de Jerez formed in 1983.

Sergio is best known as a film director for the films A Day Without a Mexican and Naco es Chido. Sergio is a close friend and we often speak deeply about art, love, time, and politics. I remember Sergio telling me the story of meeting the revolutionary Ché late one night in his father's Mexico City kitchen. Perhaps the Academy Award winning screenwriter, who purchased Heavy Mex at The Other Art Fair in Los Angeles in 2018, will write a film starting with that moment.

Gracias Sergio!

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