We came across artist Sergio Lopez’s work through a press release via Moden Eden Gallery and we’re immediately taken by his beautiful figurative work.  I had assumed the pictures probably didn’t do the paintings justice, so it was at the opening where we first experienced Lopez’s work in person.

I was attracted to Lopez’s use of Art Nuevo symbology, and design elements around his painted ladies. After viewing those works, I was taken by an even larger grouping of figurative works which Modern Eden Gallery had displayed in the second half of their space. Lopez has two distinct bodies of work in this current show entitled “Sacred Spring”.  One is an evolution of Art Nuevo, and the second is an absolutely stunning body of female figures enveloped in color and nature.  The work breathes light, and is a great example of the power of form and figure study.

We sat down with Lopez to talk about his work and his experience as an evolving artist.

Michael Cuffe (Warholian): Can you tell us a little about your particular aesthetic, and the subject matter you focus on in this particular body of work?

(Artist Sergio Lopez):  Well it’s grounded in realism, but I try to steer it into other aspects of art and design that inspire me. For example, all of the pattern and blending of the background/foreground things I do aren’t necessarily realism but I try to make it as believable as I can. The designs and patterns are a mix of my own designs and other patterns that fit into the aesthetic of what I am going for.

I don’t think it’s hard to imagine that an artist would enjoy painting the female human form as much as I do. I like painting classical nudes but I don’t feel like I’m challenging myself if I’m not adding my own thoughts and ideas to it. I would get bored if I didn’t try to push the boundaries of whatever style I’m working within.

(Warholian’s MC):  How did you first decide you wanted to become and artist?  Your background?  What formal or informal training have you received?

(Artist Sergio Lopez):  I’ve always been an artist as far as I’m concerned. The question is more about when I decided it was going to be my career, and basically my life. That was pretty much late in high school when I decided to go to the Academy of Art in San Francisco. It just so happened that one of the better art schools in the country was so close to my hometown of Santa Rosa. I went there for 5 years, right after high school, and once I left,  I’ve made my money from art in some capacity ever since.

(Warholian’s MC):  How has your process and subject matter evolved over time?  

(Artist Sergio Lopez): When I think of what I want to paint, I have switched from thinking about single paintings to thinking in series. It presents some challenges, but there are some advantages to that as well. When you know you have a certain framework to work inside of, you can devote more of your brainpower to dissecting that subject and seeing it from as many different angles as you can. You don’t have to come up with a new concept for every single painting you do. For me personally, that would be exhausting. It also gives you a bit of an advantage when approaching galleries because you can easily give em an idea of what to expect should they bring you on board for a show.

My subject matter has become more and more focused to try and be exactly what I want to paint. I’ve done concept art, illustration, and other things where you get dictated what you are going to paint. The more I do art the more I figure out exactly what it is that I want to spend my time making pictures of. I feel like its a process of subtracting the superfluous, like carving a sculpture from a big piece of wood, except there’s not much of a sketch to go off of.

(Warholian’s MC):  Who/what are some of your major influences?

(Artist Sergio Lopez): I have so many. I started a tumblr blog where aside from my own work, I post pictures of other artists who continue to inspire me. Artists such as Jeremy Lipking, Kent Williams, and a bunch of old school artists frequently find their way on there.

(Warholian’s MC):  What’s next for you?  Any exciting projects or opportunities?  

(Artist Sergio Lopez): I try to have something in the works for the future when I can. Aside from various shows later on in the year, there are some new galleries that have expressed interest in having me show with them. I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to show with new galleries if they are good prospects. I show a lot with the Christopher Queen Gallery over in the Sonoma Coast area.They like what I do, and they do well for me. I always have some new work for their shows.

Apart from all the figurative work I do, I am an avid plein air painter as well. I like to participate in the plein air paintout circuit, and the season is about to begin soon. Next month I am doing the Carmel Art Festival for the first time, which is one of the more prestigious events in the area so I am excited about that. In June I am participating in the Los Gatos plein air event for the first time also. I’ve heard all good things about it, so I am really happy to be invited to that one as well.

– written by Michael Cuffe for Warholian

To find out more about “Sacred Spring” visit Modern Eden here:  http://www.moderneden.com/collections/sacred-spring?page=2

For more on Sergio Lopez, visit his official site here: http://themainloop.com/Figures.htm

or follow on his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/SergioLopezFineArt