“Colorful” is a tired, overused adjective, but there is no better way to encapsulate Pablo Calderon (b. 1952) and his artwork. A profound studio presence—debating, laughing, whistling, or explaining his work to patrons—Calderon exemplifies the heroic artist’s attitude toward life and method. He prefers a grand scale and monumental subject matter. In 2011 his paintings of wide-eyed, curly haired subjects (munecas, or dolls) were chosen by CB2, our Community Arts Partner, as the basis for a limited edition rug. Their saturated hues are lathered on in wild, masterful combinations using broad strokes. And are those dolls grinning or grimacing? That depends on the viewer. Caleron’s skill as a painter imbues all of his work with the kind of ambiguity that invites speculation.
He has expanded his subject matter to include different forms of transportation. Elegant, vivid depictions of bicycles and large, bird’s-eye views of trucks flattened out into map-like abstractions dominate this current interest in vehicles. The trucks in particular offer a fascinating glimpse into the mysteries of Calderon’s process, which is always based on color and its possibilities. Calderon came to the US from El Salvador in his late thirties and has been at Creativity Explored since 2002.