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Cerca del Cielo, paintings by Cathey Miller

By Nick Hamblen

The Wild Wild West that is Pozos will become this weekend considerably more wild and colorful with the arrival of Dallas, TX based artist Cathey Miller who opens her one-woman show “Cerca del Cielo at Galería 6.

Art: Cerca del Cielo Paintings by Cathey Miller. Sat, May 5, 1-5pm. Galería 6, Mineral de Pozos

Miller, who works professionally as a scenic painter for major television and movie productions arrived in Pozos a week early to create a mural installation on the walls of the gallery which will serve as backdrop to a stunning group of portrait based, brightly colored, stretched canvases depicting figures and symbols of the cowboy (and very often cowgirl) and charreada culture.

After graduating in 1985 from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA Miller moved to NYC where she freelanced as an editorial illustrator and “started wearing black clothes and mirrored sunglasses and painting people I saw in the subway.”  In 1987, reportedly due to a “lack of any decent salsa” the artist moved to Dallas where she established her own painting studio, which thrives there to this day.

Fans of Miller’s work are well familiar with her colorful and fantastical alternate universe “Cathedonia” which since 2001 has been the subject matter of much of her fine art work. Cathedonia is populated often by the artist herself as well as images of close friends who spend their time saving Earth from giant, eagle-headed intergalactic lobsters and other monsters. This richly symbolic and narrative work reveals a highly skilled painter who enjoys what she does and who is rewarded by being heavily collected.

The work presented in Cerca del Cielo brings forward this spirit of color, play and wit though in a severely pared down style that might be best described as Pop Art with it’s graphic boldness and social commentary. With titles (that often appear in large text as part of the piece) such as “Mamacita”, “Chica Loca” and “Baile Conmigo” Miller has brought also her own brand of girl power, heroism and beauty to Mexico. To say the least her stated inspirations of road trips through the American Southwest and of “kicking around on a semi-abandoned ranch outside Marfa,TX are evident here.

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