Come See the Harlequins by David Dorantes
By Mark Saunders
As a comedy writer and cartoonist, and a guy who appreciates fine art, it’s always a special treat for me to discover an art show that celebrates whimsy. That is not to say I don’t mind viewing the occasional dark and stormy painting, such as an Edvard Munch piece promoting the underappreciated merits of melancholy. But, truth be told, my tastes lean toward a more balanced consumption of art. A little gloom mixed with a little glee.
Opening, David Dorantes
Thu, Jun 18, 6-8pm
Ancha de San Antonio 67
And so it is with great pleasure I announce the opening of a new whimsical art show by local painter David Dorantes on Thursday, June 18, at Tannat Restaurant. Titled “Harlequins at Work and Play,” the show features the iconic character of the zanni, or comic servant, from Italian Commedia Dell’arte as a three-dimensional portrait created in plaster and painted with acrylic on a wood panel. “The harlequin is a mischievous character, both witty and resourceful. I think it must have been a lot of fun to play the harlequin,” said David. “It’s also a lot of fun to draw or paint them. I decided to do a series in which people can identify with these characters, portraying them at work or at play.”
Born and raised in Mexico City, David was a relentless doodler in school, always filling his notebooks with drawings and volunteering whenever a class presentation needed an illustration. “I used to dream of some day studying in a major art school,” recalled David. “I find the process of making art fascinating, from the basic idea to the composition, from choosing and mixing colors, to the finished piece.” As a young man, David moved to the United States, where he worked as a Registered Nurse for 20 years. During those work years, he always kept the dream of becoming an artist alive by painting and drawing whenever he had a chance, and studying his two favorite art periods, the Renaissance and Impressionism. David moved to San Miguel five years ago not to reinvent himself but, in his words, “to rediscover who I was.” Currently, he is working on two different art projects, and in one of the projects he plans to use the 3D elements again. “As with figurative painting and drawing, one of the artist’s goals is to convey a sense of three-dimensionality, using lights and shadows,” said David. “Plus, I love sculpting and carving, so the idea of incorporating 3D to make the harlequin image more lifelike or realistic worked for me.”
David’s harlequin paintings will be on display through July 18. Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and join me next Thursday for an entertaining art show that will leap from the frame.