Old Spanish Days will soon be upon us: the dancers, the horses, the costumes, the food, the drinks, the fun. To add to the celebration, Sullivan Goss will provide the art. From folklorico paintings from Mexico and Los Angeles, to historical paintings of las Doñas of the Casa de la Guerra, to paintings both historical and contemporary of the icons of Fiesta, Sullivan Goss says, “Viva la!”
For the last several years, Sullivan Goss has made an unofficial – and largely unannounced – habit of displaying a painting for the week of Fiesta called La Bamba [left] by famed Mexican illustrator Jesus Helguera (19101971). Helguera’s images are as well known in Mexico as Norman Rockwell’s are in America. Uplifting, universal, and beautifully rendered, La Bamba has drawn more and more people each year. “Where is the painting?” gallery staff are often asked. As well known as the reproduction may be, many cannot believe that the gallery owns the original.
This year, for the first time ever, the gallery will present an entire exhibition focused on Fiesta. Impressionist images by Mary deNeale Morgan and Edward Potthast will lead towards Depressionera works by Orpha Klinker and Ben Messick. Modernist paintings by Richard Haines, Dan Lutz, and Frank Taira will lead into contemporary images by Angela Perko. And all of these will be anchored by two massive folklorico murals by Robert Leroy Smith and Juan Goya Usama.
One of these murals once hung in The (Original) Spanish Kitchen – a restaurant that brought the tastes of Mexico to Los Angeles in 1941. Still in its original frame, the painting looks back to a history of two great cultures seeking a bridge. The restaurant closed in 1961. The mural has not been seen in public since.
3:14 | Frank Goss