LIVING DEAD: paintings by Pooch and Paul Torres at Harold Golen Gallery 10/11/08

Featuring the work of: POOCH and PAUL TORRES

October 11th – November 1st
Opening reception: Saturday, October 11, 2008 7pm- 11pm
Harold Golen Gallery, 314 North West 24th St. (off of NW 2nd Ave.) Wynwood Art District, Miami, Florida 33127.
Press Contact: 305.904.8393
Admission is free!

Muerto Mechanico (top photo)

Raised on a diet of Walt Disney World , Ray Harryhausen films, H. P. Lovecraft novels, Comics, and Florida tourist traps, Pooch paints images that seem to exist in a bizarre afterlife. Early on, Pooch was exposed to artists and illustrators, such as Frank Frazetta, MC Escher, Dali, Bosch and HR Giger.
A self- taught artist, Pooch owes much of his painting skills to over ten years of daily tattooing and drawing. His art is a visual cocktail mix of Far East mysteries, the magic of European painting with a shot of tattoo culture, shaken and stirred, and served up in a souvenir tiki skull.

Working in different series allows Pooch the freedom to explore various cultural symbols, but also keeps him inspired to dig deeper into those respective subjects. His earlier works are done in oil, containing architectural elements and sinuously carved statue like figures in static display. Newer works are in acrylic and reflect his exposure to Disney World and Florida theme parks, with surreal carnival ride facades (a reflection of the false fronts of modern society) decorated with symbolic figures of death from Tibetan rituals to the Mexican Day of the Dead Festival.

Pooch’s paintings are intended to hold the viewer’s attention, which is quite a challenge in today’s TV, film and computer age. Holding the old masters in high regard, he has a strong respect for painters of the Flemish age such as Bosch and Van Eyk, and modern artists such as Todd Schorr, Joe Coleman, Mark Ryden and Robe.

Paul Torres
Notrica 32nd Street Market (bottom photo)

Paul Torres’ art embodies a rich imagination and is laced with social commentary and a soulful interpretation of everyday life. Born in Chile, his interest in art began at age 3 after being introduced to comic books. He started drawing soon after and his father hired a private art tutor for him. By the age 7 he was already enrolled in an art correspondence school. Paul also became influenced early on by Hollywood films and mostly enjoys horror films and Westerns.

At the age of 9, Paul came to the United States for a one-year stay and fell in love with the art culture here. After immigrating to the United States permanently at age 19, he served in the U.S. Army, attended Otis Parsons Art Institute for two years, and then in 1998 he received his Bachelor of Fine Art in Illustration from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He has had the privilege to study with very prominent and leading artists such as Daniel Greene, Albert Handell, Norwegian artist Jan Saether at Bruchion School in Los Angeles, and Joseph Mendez at the Businessman’s Art Institute in Los Angeles. He worked for several years in the animation and movie industry while continuing to paint for gallery shows and private collections.

He works with a variety of mediums ranging from oil to acrylic, ink and dry mediums, preferring oil. Although he feels very comfortable working from life and models, he also uses his imagination combined with working from life to bring the work into a more personal level and aiming for magic realism rooted in the tradition of the old masters with undertones of modern influences. Paul has been called a visionary artist and a soul artist.