Tuesday, July 29, 2008

4. The Maestro Gaxiola Brand

“It is not known when the first cross image was made; -after circles, crosses are one of the first symbols drawn by children of all cultures.” (wikipedia)

My “Brand” is a cross over the letter M. The cross I use is not a Christian cross but a children’s or “artist” cross. As a painter I have always related to the suffering, (living a life of rejection and forced solitude) the death, (self-inflected as a result of this rejection) and the resurrection, (his paintings are now among the most valuable paintings in the world) of Vincent Van Gogh. For me, as an artist, - because of his religious dedication to art, - the life of solitude, suffering, and death of Vincent Van Gogh, is analogous to the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary, - metaphorically speaking of course.

Thomas Merton and I are “men of the cross” but there is an entirely different belief and motivation behind our dedication to the cross symbol. Thomas Merton followed the Jesus Christian cross because he believed Jesus was the true son of God. I follow the Van Gogh artist cross because I believe Van Gogh was a manifestation of a true artist.

I have adapted the symbol of the cross over the letter M as my personal “artist signature.” I have been signing my paintings with that symbol for over thirty years. To me it represents the child-like innocence of art and the serious religious-like dedication needed to be an artist.

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