PAINTING PROVOCATEUR: The twenty-eight year old artist’s career began by apprenticing under his neighbor, Mexican painter Clara Tajonar. She paid him in paint brushes, canvases and other art supplies. As a teenager, he would later go on to art school, but dropped out when his family moved to America.
VIVA LA MEXICO
Hector Boldo’s Mexican heritage is pervasive is his work. Religious iconography, specifically virgins, saints, crosses and skulls, along with Ballet Folklorica dancers and Mexican wrestlers, serve as popular muses. Day of the Dead diva, La Catrina, also makes her way into several pieces. Boldo tells me about the Mexican holiday’s fantastic rituals of honoring the deceased by visiting cemeteries and bringing the favorite foods of lost loved ones. “In Mexico, we are always celebrating death. Death as a celebration of life.”
Boldo cites Diego Rivera as a major influence in his work. “He is one of my favorite painters. The way he composed a painting and managed color. The indigenous people, the flowers, his murals. He was a genius.”
PASSION FOR POP
Boldo’s paintings often reference a strange medley of Mexican and American pop culture icons. His favorites among them are Willie Nelson, David Bowie and Blue Demon, a famous Mexican wrester (Luchador Enmascarado) from the 1950s.
BRAINS ARE SEXY
The multi-talented painter and sculptor proudly calls himself a nerd. When he’s not making art, he works at a software company, SchoolStatus. Boldo’s art has been exhibited most recently at the Exhibit of Art by the South Mississippi Art Association, where he won 3rd place. He has also participated in Austin’s South 1st Street Art Walk, the E.A.S.T. Austin Studio Tour and the Exposición “8o Festival de Artes de la Quinta Tepantitla” in Mexico City, Mexico.
Hector’s husband, Tom, is equally creative and often takes the lead on interior design projects at home. The design driven couple, who’ve been married for three years, restored and renovated a 1908 historic home in downtown Hattiesburg. Light-filled and now returned to its original glory, their gorgeous dwelling (with a lush backyard and patio) is the perfect backdrop for Boldo’s vibrant paintings and sculptures.
IN THE MOOD
His painting playlist while working on his latest series, Animal Instinct, includes songs “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” from post-punk band Bauhaus, Chinawoman’s eerily seductive “Party Girl” and Nina Simone’s classic “See-Line Woman.” Hector and Tom truly appreciate music. Their vinyl record collection, which made me weep with joy, could easily rival the selection at T-Bone Records. The soundtrack for this interview was Madonna’s “Who’s That Girl” on original vinyl.
FAVORITE SPOT IN THE ‘BURG
Before moving to Hattie a year and a half ago, this self-described gypsy lived in Austin. His go-to spot is The Depot for lunch. “I love their sandwiches.”
Boldo’s fierce new show, Animal Instinct, which explores the beast like nature of human beings, will be on view thru April 8th at The Shop Downtown.
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