Breaking Art News Daily Worldwide

HOW LUIS SANCHEZ

TURNED GREAT

ADVERSITY INTO

SOULFUL WORKS OF ART

by Dale Youngman


“My father was an exceptional artist, very prolific, and my earliest inspiration. By my seventh birthday I had decided I was going to be an artist. I started sculpting at age five and carried around a cookie tin with many colors of plasteline. I would sculpt all kinds of things, including characters I saw on TV and the movies. I did not like store-bought toys because I wanted something unique, and so asked my mom to take me to the craft store instead, where I bought supplies to make my own. I was fascinated with the artistic process, watching my dad painting at his studio for hours on end, preferring that over playing with kids my age.”
 
Once in a while you come across an artist whose story is as compelling as his work. Bold, strong, and powerful, yet vulnerable, introspective, and spiritual are the words that come to mind when describing the art and the artist, Luis Sanchez. One of those souls who seems destined to become an artist, his talent is not limited to any one genre, rather he is a master at many. Excelling at work in mediums from painting to sculpting, mixed media to public art, there seems to be no limit to his output.
 
Living and working in San Pedro, CA and showing regularly at Los Angeles galleries, Sanchez is best known for his realistic paintings of beautiful people set in somewhat surreal circumstances or surrounded by animals or artifacts imbued with symbolism.

His incredible story of multiple kidney transplants and complete isolation for 16 months due to his immunocompromised status propelled him to create a new body of work that is highly personal yet somehow universally understood in its portrayal of psychological struggle and the human experience.
 
Born in 1968, Luis lived the first ten years of his life in Mexico City with his family, a Cuban-born father who was a renowned fine artist, a Mexican Lebanese mother, and an older brother and sister. It seems art was always his destiny, as his mother had very strong dreams and visions of him as a sculptor during her pregnancy, and in fact wanted to name him Michelangelo. Thankfully his father intervened, but her premonition was accurate. A full-time working professional artist for the past 25 years, his road to success has not been easy, and his obstacles have been harder than most.
 
Showing an aptitude for art at a very young age, his parents enrolled him in an advanced children’s art class at the prestigious Museo De Bellas Artes in Mexico City where he studied for three years. Migrating to the US in 1979, Sanchez continued excelling at art in high school, and went on to attend Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA. In the middle of his sophomore year however he was diagnosed with stage four kidney failure, thus beginning a lifetime of kidney problems. He was forced to drop out of college and endured four years of dialysis treatments until he received his first kidney transplant in 1993. Although he had always planned to return to college, Sanchez decided not to waste any precious time, a mindset that still drives him today. 
 
In 1997 he started L. S. Design, a company creating hand-painted fresco plaques as wall art. They were unique and beautiful pieces, picked up by art reps across the country, leading his small business to become a thriving company. In the five years it operated, L. S. Design was a strong seller, with 120 stores selling his products across the US and Canada. His  work appeared in Sex and The City, Stepmom, and a National Hotpoint ad campaign.
 
“After my first kidney transplant, I painted twelve hours a day for months. I was so incredibly inspired! In the tradition of Frida Kahlo, I believe I was purging a lot of physical and emotional pain and trauma while painting from bed. At the time, good friends owned a chic boutique art gallery in downtown Seattle. In 1994 they booked my first solo show and it sold out! I booked another exhibition six months later, and I sold out again. My third exhibit also sold out. Everyone, including myself, was blown away! This success provided the financial ability and savings to keep painting without the need to have a traditional 9-to-5 job. It also filled me with a great confidence, artistic drive, and the will and knowledge that I was on my way.”
 
But that was not enough for the ambitious artist, so he sold his company and moved to LA in 2002, to pursue fine art full-time,  a move that was to change his life and alter the direction of his art forever.
 
The move to L.A. was exhilarating for Sanchez, as the scene was bursting with artists, art walks, and a growing quantity of high-end galleries. Researching the scene, he soon was picked up by a prestigious gallery, and went on to exhibit at shows and fairs across the US, including Art Basel Miami, Affordable Art Fair New York, the Hampton's Art Fair, and the LA Art Show.
 
In the years that followed, Sanchez created works utilizing stucco as a media over canvas, simulating the frescoes he remembered from his childhood in Mexico City. The paintings were highly textured, as he manipulated the media onto wood, metal, and his large canvases to create an aged and distressed appearance. He experimented with trompe l’oeil effects, leading people to believe the work was painted on old doors from Pompeii or Europe. Galleries and the public responded well, new doors opened, and opportunities for new avenues of business were presented.
 
“People always thought I was utilizing photos or collage in my paintings when I was simply just using a brush. This made my work stand out from the rest and created a lot of interest. I started doing commissioned work for homes and businesses, applying the media directly to walls, which began a whole new business in faux finishing. That ability to translate my fine art into custom work is one of the things I am most proud of, and what sets me apart from other artists I think.”  
 
That wide range of abilities and talent served the artist well. His work includes multiple series in many mediums, including figurative, abstract, and surreal paintings, intricate sculptures in both resin and bronze, murals and public art throughout San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica, residential and commercial commissions, faux finishing, restoration, ceramics, and a new line of artful t-shirts on Etsy. His success continued, his presence grew, and commissioned work continued to pour in. But the other shoe was about to drop.
 
“Unfortunately, transplanted kidneys sometimes have a short shelf life. I was forced to spend another four years on dialysis awaiting my second kidney transplant, which I received in 2011. This slowed me down, but soon I regained strength, and despite all of this, I have prevailed and continued to support myself through it all.  It's hard to explain how going through so much has given me more energy, strength, and inspiration. I feel I am in a race against time, and therefore never take a single day for granted. I have been living on borrowed time for many, many years, so I make every day the best it can be. I don't waste any precious time.”
 
During the pandemic quarantine, Sanchez began a series of paintings that reflected upon current issues including the isolation and its effect on the population, all the while overshadowed by another critical health issue. At that time, he was going through a painful and serious collapse of the fistula [an abnormal connection or passageway that connects two organs or vessels that do not usually connect] in his left arm, as it was the access point for his dialysis treatments due to the two kidney transplants that he has received over the past three decades.

Nearly losing his arm and requiring emergency surgery in the middle of the pandemic was a cause for extreme concern in all kinds of ways. With his arm iced and resting on a stool as he painted, his intuition and creative vision came forth in a profound burst of creativity, as he navigated both internal and external storms.
 
During his recuperative period, a third arm began to appear in his many paintings. His new figurative collection illustrates the complexity of our lives through surrealism, symbolism and spiritually-energetic work. Using color as an emotional tool to lead the viewer on an introspective journey, each painting suggests a story of struggle and sacrifice, overcoming obstacles, and then soaring to new heights. As you immerse yourself in another world that is both foreign and familiar, living above the clouds, contemplating the building blocks of your life, it is the artist’s hope that each painting will reveal the viewer’s own story.
 
“All our lives were jolted and affected by COVID. I have tried and learned in my own way, completely alone, throughout the pandemic for almost 18 months, to be more patient and to listen. To be more open-minded and to reach out more. There are great opportunities for change in times like this, both external and internal. But only if you can open your eyes and see them that way, really stopping to listen and become more self-aware. It was a difficult period, but a productive one for me nonetheless, as I chose to dive into art to keep me afloat and positive. As an artist, I feel I am always creating for the other, the viewer, and therefore I am never alone, as I am always trying to make a change in the world and bring happiness to others through my work.”
 
Sanchez is an inspiration to so many. His paintings provide happiness in his subjects and in the surprises found in his work. The figurative series is available online, represented by the ArtExcellence Gallery: Click Here.

A new series of bold textured abstracts entitled “Artifacts” are currently on view at the Michael Hayden Gallery, 4413 West Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA  through June 22.

To learn more about Luis please visit his website www.LuisSanchezFineArt.com

_________________________________

Author Dale Youngman is an independent art curator, fine art dealer, marketing consultant and art writer, working to facilitate the flow of art in Southern California. She currently consults with artists, galleries, interior designers, non-profits, and a new art platform to advance business for everyone in the art world. She has twice been honored by the LA Mayor’s Office with “Certificates of Recognition“ for her many years of art advocacy. Find Dale at her website.

 

 

Back to Main Page

 

 



Gordy Grundy

RESOURCES
Dictionary

Thesaurus
Drudge Worldwide Weather
Maps
NightOut

Reference Desk

FKA CINEMA
Birth.Movies.Death.
Collider
Deadline
Roger Friedman
Lloyd Grove
Hollywood Dementia
Hollywood Reporter
IMDB
IndieWire
Rotten Tomatoes
Variety

TECHNO
Boing Boing
Engineering & Technology
Innovation & Tech Today
Jalopnik
MIT Technology Review
National Geographic
NASA
Tech Briefs
The Verge
Wired

LAUGHS
Bizarro
Butcher and Wood
Dave Barry
The Chive
CNN
Doonesbury
Funny Or Die
NYT Loose Ends
The Onion
Popbitch
Smoking Gun

HALCYON
Daily Beast

Esquire
The New Yorker
New York Magazine
Los Angeles Magazine
Town and Country
Vanity Fair

 

BEAUTY INSIDE + OUT
Abitare
Architectural Digest
Architecural Record
Dwell
Elle Decor
Gray
House Beautiful
House and Garden
Interior Design
Metropolis
Veranda
Wallpaper
World of Interiors

MISTER CHOW
Art of Eating
Bon Appetit
Cooks Illustrated
Epicurious
Fine Cooking
Food & Wine
Gastronomica
Saveur
You Grow Girl

TRAVEL
Adventure Journal
AFAR
Conde Nast Traveler
The Culture-ist
Go Nomad
Go World Travel
Matador Network
National Geographic Traveller
Travel + Leisure
Vagabondish
Wanderlust

MAN + NATURE
Fine Gardening
Garden Design
Land 8
Landscape Architecture Magazine
Landscape Architecture Foundation
World Landscape Architecture

FASHION
Allure

Cosmopolitan
Elle
Fashionista
Fashion
Glamour
GQ
Look
Marie Claire
NYT Style Magazine
Teen Vogue
Vogue
Vogue China
Vogue India
Vogue Italy
Vogue Paris
Women's Wear Daily

FINE ARTS
Artsy
Artforum
Artillery
Apollo
Art F City
Art Almanac
Art and Australia
Art Daily
Art Fix Daily
Art in America
Art Monthly
Artnet
Artnews
Art Review
Artspace
Blouton ArtInfo
Brooklyn Street Art
Burnaway
Deviant Art
Flash Art
Frieze
Glasstire
Hi·Fructose
Hyperallergic
Juxtapoz
Parkett
Saatchi Art
The Art Newspaper
White Hot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRIVACY POLICY
TERMS OF USE
AD CHOICES
PRIVACY RIGHTS

 


 

 


News Tips? Email: info@ArtReportToday.com


Advertise With Us! Email: info@ArtReportToday.com



ART REPORT TODAY
Blue Chip, Red Dot
Art Noir
: True Crime in the Art World
Artists Who Catch Our Eye
Collectors' Cache
Sent From My Phone: Nicolas Vorvolakos
Yes, Chef Tara: New Recipes
Archives
Art Report Today: Our Podcasts

ART PODCASTS
Arts & Ideas
Art History Babes
Bad At Sports
Brett Easton Ellis
Art Curious
CAA How To
Michael Delgado
Tyler Green
The Lonely Planet
NPR Fresh Air
A Piece of Work Abbi Jacobson
Raw Material SFMOMA
Sculptor's Funeral
Hrag Vartanian- Hyperallergic

BOOKS
Book Search
A. G. Geiger

Book Riot
Catapult
Electric Literature
Jane Friedman
Goodreads
Literary Hub
The Rumpus
Vol. 1 Brooklyn

IDOLATRY
Page Six

People
Popbitch
TMZ

MUSIC
Alternative Press
Billboard
BBC Classical Music
Downbeat
Kerrang!
MOJO
NME
Revolver
Rolling Stone
SPIN