Joan & Ken McDonald
2016 Diavolo & Divino label Artist
This is the 1st vintage of our Heaven & Hell Artist Series to feature a husband & wife; Joan & Ken McDonald. Having met at Mass Art in Boston, MA, the couple went on to each get their Masters (Ken at San Francisco Art Institute & Joan at UC Berkley) eventually finding their permanent home in the small town of Dixon, NM in 1971. Their art is satirical & witty with social commentary often at the core. This Heaven & Hell pair of labels reflects the traditional wedding vow of “till death do us part” as well as the culture of New Mexico in the ‘Day of the Dead’ tradition. Ken passed away in 2007. Joan continues to live & create in Dixon. www.EmbudoFabricDesign.com
2015 Vivac Heaven & Hell label Artist
Jessamyn Lovell is this vintage’s Heaven & Hell Label Artist. Jessamyn’s story is unlike any other artist we’ve worked with and created the most unusual, striking labels to date. She is a photographer turned Private Investigator. After her identity was stolen, she worked with a PI to find the woman responsible. The experience was so inspiring, she decided to become a PI herself. She now uses the stories and images of her clients to express a new form of art; one founded in self discovery and revelations. To hear her story look up the podcast “This American Life” episode: Same bed different dreams.
2014 Vivác Heaven and Hell label Artist
Dorielle was raised in New Mexico & has her current studio in Albuquerque NM. Bitten by the art bug as a young child, diagnosed with ADHD & Sensory Integration Dysfunction (giving her heightened sensitivity to external stimuli), Dorielle found a quiet centered world to immerse herself in with the arts. She completed a BFA (Summa Cum Laude) in Painting from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA & a Master Class in Painting at the Art Students League of Denver, CO after which she found unlikey job offers along with the realization that to be true to herself, she needed to be an artist. Since then Dorielle has been featured in prestigious exhibitions & publications internationally. Dorielle’s work explores the relationship between grace & angst that both plague & glorify the private worlds of young women.
Looking at the artwork Dorielle created for the Vivac Heaven & Hell Artist Labels, she describes the bigger meaning of her work:
Hell can look like Heaven and Heaven can look like Hell. In the Diavolo label painting, a woman sits in a lavish utopia, but she is in a Hell so troubling she can’t deal with the final task of applying her rouge; a cry for help. We create a reality wherein we are never good enough, wagging our finger over our imperfections…Hell. In the Divino label painting, a woman sits in a monstrous and hostile environment, yet she is unphased by the hostility around her. It looks as though she exists in Hell, but her cheeky grin suggests otherwise; for within her exists a calm breath of self-acceptance…Heaven. www.DorielleCaimi.com
Signature Vivác Winery label Artist
Born in Roswell, New Mexico in 1964, Jim Vogel is the eleventh of twelve children. He sought refuge by escaping into the world of art, drawing and painting became a way to express the stories and ideas heard from his mother, father and maternal grandfather. In particular were the stories of the not too distant past of New Mexico; the working cowboys, outlaws and hard, traditional lives of the elders.
Influenced by Peter Hurd and Luis Jimenez (cutting edge contemporary artists), this Colorado Institute of Art graduate found himself unfulfilled by the commercial world of art. Jim yearned to break free of constraints. His wife, Christen whom he met at CIA was also a design student and worked along side Jim as a Graphic Designer. Twelve years in the rat race and 2 sons later. Jim turned away from a very successful and promising career to paint full time. In 1999 a successful show in Santa Fe; at the “Cline Fine Art Gallery”, brought the Vogel family (now complete with a daughter too) back to New Mexico. It was in a transition to “Blue Rain Gallery” in 2003 (at that time only in Taos) that Jim boomed. Greatened exposure, collector base and really stretching those long legs, Jim took hold of his personal style and jumped head in. Collaborating with his wife on frames gave his pieces the finishing detail they needed. Christen creates richly textured frames from recycled antique tin ceiling panels and other scavenged parts. They have spent the last 8 years in Dixon sharing a studio.
“I am inspired to paint by many factors. Sometimes I will see sunlight coming through the branches of a tree and striking the water in the acequia (irrigation ditch). Or a shadow on the dirt that vibrates a truly purple color. Or clouds backlit, appearing to glow from within. These are what I call my crystallized moments. They are visual triggers that become set in my minds eye and quite often act as an immediate link to a story or memory.” Jim searches out the explanation of his work, but it is something that must be seen. The “rhythm” of the painting literally carries you into the story weaving the people and landscape into a tale of New Mexico rural life. Contemporary art depicting the traditional ways of life. Jim’s work is fascinating, bold and whimsical in a single stroke.
It is because of Jim’s powerful, edgy images of New Mexico that we choose to have him as our signature Vivác Winery Label artist. His painting of the mountain that sits opposite the Vivác Winery Tasting Room, represents the traditional and the modern, a mix we find in our wine making approach. Jim is kind enough to design our successive labels as well, showing he has not lost his talent for graphic design either
2010 Vivác Heaven and Hell label Artist
Brandon Maldonado, the cover artist for Zac Broen Band’s #1 Bilboard & Grammy Winning Album “Uncaged”, is a self taught artist with critical acclaim. Each of his detailed images uses aspects of the human experience, from the joys to the sorrows, as he expertly weaves in the mysteries of our existence. Beyond the technical mastery, Brandon is able to use his art as a vehicle for inspiring change through ones profound emotional experience upon viewing it.
Brandon Maldonado was born in 1980. He grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, an environment rich in hispanic arts and culture. As a child, he was introduced to the fantastical realm of Star Wars and the monsters of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, which first sparked his artistic imagination. In his teens he turned to graffiti, an influence that still can be seen in his works to this day. Maldonado holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from the College of Santa Fe with a focus in Philosophy and world religion he also holds an associate’s degree in fine art but considers himself to be a primarily self taught artist whose most essential technical development was based on the independent study of the paintings of the old masters including Jan Van Eyck and Dominique Ingres among others.
For more information visit: BrandonMaldonado.com
2009 Vivác Heaven and Hell label Artist
While growing up in Detroit, art was instinctual for a young David Hinske. He was attracted to images in magazines and on television and even then made art with simple childhood materials. These natural curiosities fueled a quiet, steady fire within. Without a formal art education, David gradually pieced together the process and began painting in earnest after a move to St. Paul, Minnesota in the early 1990’s.
Some years later in Memphis, Tennessee, David attended a gallery opening that would change his life. He quickly became a part of the local art community and eventually owned and operated that same gallery with his wife, Carolyn.
As is the nature of loving what you do and doing what you love, the artists of the gallery became friends, advisers, instructors and comrades. With the closing of the Memphis gallery years later, came a move to Taos, New Mexico and representation of David’s paintings by galleries around the country.
“I read as much as I could get my hands on about art history, art biographies, art magazines, critical discourse, and went to a lot of museums and galleries. Eventually I earned my ‘pedigree’ through work as a museum preparator, a curator, a gallerist, a juror for different art events and grants panels, an art writer and critic, a board member for various art projects, and now, a New Mexico Arts commissioner. And painted miles of canvas along the way,” David explains of his journey to becoming one of the most influential artists of New Mexico.
After 25 years as a professional artist, David tends to hold personal what it is that he loves so much about being an artist. He explains that “words can be a barrier to being in the moment. Increasingly I have less need to conventionally describe the art experience. It exists independent of definition.” A great statement by an artist since a picture (or a painting) is worth a thousand words.
2008 Vivác Heaven and Hell label Artist
With 10 years of tattooing as a fine art, Aries Rhysing works in many styles and finds that the most beautiful tattoos seem to be a combination of an artist’s own inner vision and the elements carried through the history of tattooing in each of the traditional styles. He has practiced his art form in Minneapolis, Chicago, Hawaii & Taos, but is known the world over with publications of every sort finding a story in his unmistakable talent. Small town newspapers, big time tattoo expo awards to industry magazines have given Aries a name as an ARTIST in a sea of professionals.
Aries was born into art, instantly finding the need to express himself through the various mediums. It is a fine line to find a living by your art, struggle as an artist or evolve as an artist in order to have it fill your life and your livelihood, Aries has managed to do the latter.
Aries says “I started this endeavor as an attempt to bring art into my life, and the lives of others, while supporting my family.” he goes on to explain that he enjoys working in many styles and finds that the most beautiful tattoos seem to be a combination of an artist’s own inner vision and the elements carried through the history of tattooing
in each of the traditional styles. “I believe very strongly that a tattoo should hold its essence and beauty (both visually and symbolically) for the life of the wearer” Aries continues. This defining idea is the duty and responsibility of the tattoo artist, at least a tattoo artist with the integrity Aries has. He sums up his art saying “Tattooing
continues to enrich my life, expand my horizons, and allows me to work with amazing people as an artist. This is an honor and a privilege.”
Aries Rhysing has been featured in the 3rd Annual Pecha Kucha Event, his work has been spot-lighted in every kind of publication including the top industry magazines & has received prestigious awards at each “Rock the Ink Tattoo Expo”. See TalismanTattooTaos.com for more info.
2007 Vivác Heaven and Hell label Artist
Adam was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1974, and was raised in Iowa and Texas. In 2001, Adam and his wife Sally moved to Taos, New Mexico. Adam’s photography explores a variety of topics that include the landscape, culture and people of the American Southwest and Rocky Mountains. It is with a profound respect for the land, its people and their history that Adam sets out to recapture the spirit of a place to tell a story through his photography.
Adam’s photography has appeared in calendars, magazines and travel publications & guides including Photographing the Southwest Volume 3 – A guide to the natural landmarks of Colorado & New Mexico, National Park Service, Sunset Magazine, CNN, Taos Green Guide, New Mexico Magazine, Su Casa Magazine, Recreation Guide to Northern New Mexico, Barnes & Noble Wildflower calendars, and the New Mexico Visitor’s Guide. His photography has also been used in support of environmental awareness issues. In 2010 Adam was honored to be the official photographer for the Taos Pueblo Pow Wow.
Adam has received numerous awards and accolades including being selected as a winner in the National Wildlife Magazine 2005 photography contest, and he was the Winner of the 2007 New Mexico Magazine photo contest. Adam is a recipient of the Luminous Landscape Endowment Fund, and is also a former Artist-in-Residence for Grand Canyon National Park. Adam is sponsored by several of the leading companies in the photographic imaging industry including Gitzo, Vortex Media, and Lowepro.
We are honored to have Adam’s inspiring photography grace our labels. We have had the luck to work with Adam as he captured the essence of Vivác for numerous publications. His ability to not only capture an image on paper, but to capture the soul of a place, the indescribable of a moment makes him a perfect Heaven and Hell label artist.
2006 Vivác Heaven and Hell label Artist
Born and raised in Ohio, Barbara, as a small child, found she could communicate through drawing as well as she did with words. A life long artist, she found herself ever the student, graduating from DePauw University in Indiana and continuing to study various forms of art across the world, living in New York and Europe. As life moved her towards the west, the Rio Grande gorge drew her to a long, meditative life in Taos, New Mexico.
Highly acclaimed for her expressionist landscapes, she has moved in a dramatic departure from landscapes to nature based abstraction using both oil and chine collè monoprints. Exhibited widely in the USA, Barbara has also shown in Zagreb, Croatia at the United States Embassy and in Antigua Guatemala. The Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, OK, the Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, IN, and the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe, NM, plus the prestigious, Artist in Residence at the Yosemite National Park in California are but a few of her accomplishments.
When asked about her painting style, Barbara is modest, simple in description, an obvious student of Buddhism, “Very occasionally I will see a painting in my mind’s eye or at times I will dream images, however, most of the time I just begin and follow the painting where it leads me.” Perhaps it is her ability to let the painting unfold naturally that creates such power in her work, but as you are consumed by the body of work, moving into the realm this deeply talented, well trained painter has created, you find out that there is much much more to it then sweeps of pretty paint over a canvas. “I am trying to hold within a painting two diverse qualities- one that is expansive, intricate and struggling and the other that is seeking balance and silence.” This tug of war depicted in paint carries with it the power to inspire, to move you in an emotional way rarely felt by a modern day artist.
As a young artist she was fascinated by the Russian Wassily Kandinsky in his musical movement from representation to abstract work, which is what she herself did over 30 years. Henri Matisse with his bright colors and Robert Rauschenberg’s use of unusual materials and overlaying have their place in her work as well. It is obvious that Barbara is still communicating great thoughts through her painting, letting the work speak for itself.Fenix Gallery Taos, NM
Total Arts Gallery Inc. Taos, NM
2005 Vivác Heaven and Hell label Artist
Our first series will be portrayed by Taos Artist Randall LaGro. Raised in Binghamton, New York, Randall LaGro, is a natural born artist with the instinct to paint and create as early as age 7. His poetic nature drove his creative side and took him to the Academy of Art in San Francisco, California. There he studied painting and focused on the figure, determined to master the elements of drawing and painting before exploring the other captivating fields of art. It wasn’t until 1989 that he dove into printmaking and discovered another passion, monotypes. It is difficult to describe LaGro’s work. His award winning, dream-like monotypes are both transcendent and disturbing. LaGro’s haunting images are laden with the poetic and the beautiful, the fierce and the brutal. These are unique, one of a kind, peeks into the subconscious.Created by covering a piece of plexiglas with thin layer of ink, LaGro must work at a feverish pace with but a few hours to create these one of a kind images. He uses anything he can find to smear, smudge and carve out the forms. Drawn from the subconscious, these images unfold, layered in fantasy and bits of reality; they fascinate the viewer. Once finished, the piece is transferred to paper via an etching press. LaGro has one shot to make the transfer, if he fails, it is lost forever.
Among 1400 entries to the prestigious 16th National Biennial of Los Angeles Printmaking Society, LaGro was one of only 75 chosen for the highly sought after show. LaGro was honored with an award for excellence in the medium.
View complete works by Randall LaGro, including monotypes and exemplary paintings at one of the galleries listed below:
A Muse Gallery-Columbus, Ohio
Mary Martin Gallery-Charleston, South Carolina
Trinity Gallery-Atlanta, Georgia
Lanning Gallery-Sedona, Arizona