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 Louis De Mayo  (1926 - )

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Lived/Active: Arizona      Known for: modern western figure

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Cowboy leading his Horse
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Carole Le Beau:

Louis (Louie) de Mayo

Born Jan. 24, 1926 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Art Schools: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts;
Hussian School of Art; Fleischer Art Memorial

De Mayo moved to Arizona in 1971 and was appointed
director of Arizona Highways Magazine.

Residence: Lives and works in Fountain Hills, Arizona

Louie has exhibited extensively in the United States in galleries, art centers, and museums. He is included in many U.S, and international collections.

Artist Statement:
"The features in my figures are usually obscured and lack individual identity. They become generic, lost and out of place in contemporary landscapes. In
contrast to the current mode of dress, they seem baroque. Artifacts, reminiscent of an age gone by when the world was not yet mechanized. Perhaps symbolic of the haunting disquiet that affects us all and will persist into the space age." (Louis de Mayo)

Biography from American Design Ltd.:
Louis De Mayo

Southwest Painter

Because there are so many fine variations to the Southwest story, each told with skill and insight, it is all the more remarkable to discover a completely fresh vision.  Phoenix artist, De Mayo, indeed has his own tale to tell.  What bold, daring and controlled simplicity fill his canvases come from a personal selection of activities that the artist has witnessed in his expeditions to the Indian reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. Noble Indian women are engaged in daily tasks or stand casually before the geometric expanse of a woven rug.  The males are dramatically arranged whether individually, in pairs, or larger groups, their great forms filling the picture surface with energy and vital presence.  In motion or at rest, these figures are adorned with colorful and exotic ornaments and ritual objects...masks, fringed belts, beaded necklaces.

Because De Mayo professes to portray a strong sense of isolation in all his paintings, it is not difficult to project further meaning here that relates to the cultural.  Says De Mayo, "it is the social issue of the isolation of the Indian from the mainstream of American life. Always a struggle to maintain the traditions."

De Mayo has a strong emotional attraction to the Yaqui and their black garb.  He grew up seeing women in black.  He is Italian and his people too are dark skinned. A strong sense of roots, his own and that of the Indian.

De Mayo emphasizes the importance of good design and subtlety of suggestion rather than explicit photo-realism.  Details are kept to a minimum and the viewer's imagination quickly fills in the missing information so that the lively figures appear lifelike and credible.

Southwest Art

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