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Nocturne 2 :: Arturo  Samaniego

Nocturne 2

Oil on Canvas 48" x 48"

Arturo Samaniego

After a fifteen year detour Arturo Samaniego, wonders why it took him so long to decide to follow his heart and embrace the life of a fine artist. "From my first art classes at the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico when I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to be an artist," Samaniego says. But after obtaining degrees in Art and business from the University of Texas, he put his artistic aspirations on hold to pursue opportunities in the computer hardware business.

My heart was never in the business world, he now admits. I was always frustrated that my artwork came second. I felt I could produce much better work if I could devote my full energy to it. Still, it took a change in the industry to free Samaniego to pursue his first love. When Dell and several other large computer companies began acquiring smaller firms like his, Arturo found himself at a crossroads. Instead of redoubling his efforts to remain competitive in a constricting market, he decided at age 40 to leave the computer industry and dedicate himself to pursuing a fine art career.

Samaniego describes his style as a blend of realism, minimalist cool and contemporary edge. Samaniego combines the beauty of the human form with the emotion-evoking quality of gesture. The figure is executed in the classical, old master style, while the environment is abstract and nebulous, representing the emotional and internal.

Samaniego began to explore the use of experimental materials to create symbolic content for both his abstract and figurative work. For example, in Rusting Dream, he infused metallic pigments sprayed with acid into the abstract background that envelopes his supine nude. The rust contrasts with both the smooth surface of the oil and the smoothness of the skin, and it's a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of physical beauty, which inevitably fades.

In his latest "Emergence" series, Samaniego explores the theme of beginning and awakening. The figures surface from the live-giving water source with renewed understanding, both soothed and refreshed. They appear energized, cleansed and in control. The treatment is almost hyper-real such is Samaniego's assured dexterity with the brush - but, the paintings retail a cool, detached aura of voyeurism as if the viewer is actually present at some kind of metamorphosis.

Whether working in figurative or semi-abstract genre, Samaniego's work has consistently garnered attention and accolades. His most recent award came from von Liebig Art Center when juror Diane Camber, who serves as Director Emerita of Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach selected his work as the Physicians Regional Healthcare System 'Best in Show' at the 49th Founders Juried Awards Exhibition.