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Thursday, December 9, 2010
TESSA CHATS WITH KUNDEMOR TAMATZUI
Welcome to the Kasbah Blog, and another installment of Tessa Chats. Today I had the good fortune of speaking with one of SL's most interesting artists. His name is Kundemor Tamatzui (Orlando Catro Ortiz), a wonderful painter from Puerto Rico. When Kundemor isn't painting he is hard at work at the Department of Education in Puerto Rico. He began drawing as a child and painted even before he began his Bachelor studies in the late 1970's. I was lucky enough to see some of his earliest works. His style has changed greatly from those early days, most of the paintings he did back then were done of the human figure, usually quite realistic, almost photographic. I was treated to a timeline of images ranging from oil based to pencil applications. It was very interesting to watch the progression from the realistic art he started with to the more abstract painting he does today. There is a story in each of his paintings, and the one I liked best was the inspiration he found in something most of us would find annoying. The coloring on his television went bad, making the color of the people abnormal....as he was trying to fix the television he realized how interesting the change in color made the people...and thus he began painting the human figure in unrealistic tones with wonderful results.
Kundemor also has an interesting story of how he came to be in SL. He received an e-mail from an SL resident who owned a museum inworld. It was a request to place 2 of Mr. Tamatzui's paintings in the museum. Kundemor had no idea what SL was, but he agreed anyway with the thought that any exposure was good. Once the images had been placed the museum owner sent photos for Kundemor to see. He was so impressed, he decided to investigate what SL was all about. He logged in and was immediately hit by the idea of how great the exposure of his art could be and quickly opened a gallery. He now has 4 such galleries including the one at Studio Genre.
I was given a tour of the Studio Genre Gallery as well as some very interesting conversation about the types of paints used (all oil now, but he has used acrylic in the past) and the implements like brushes and knives to create the desired effects. Kundemor's most recent works all center around the cundiamor or bitter mellon, a fruit that grows on his property.
Each painting shows the bitter mellon with the image of the female form somehow incorporated into it. In some of the paintings it is easy to see the human body shown in colors of orange and yellow, in others you have to really look and sometimes even imagine it. Kundemor's inspiration for this series is the idea that the Latin woman is very much like the cundiamor and he wanted to express that thought in every way possible. The paintings are vibrant and interesting. His other recent works are also full of vibrant colors and so beautiful, you almost wish you could reach out and touch the wet paint...to actually feel it.
Kundemor's art is shown in RL so the people of his country have the opportunity of being almost close enough to feel and experienceit first hand. His goal is to reach all the cities and towns of his country through his art. I asked Mr. Tamatzui what else might be coming up for him and he said that he has met someone from SL who resides in Japan and they are in talks about showing his paintings at the University of Japan. We talked about how wonderful it is to have a platform like SL to reach so many people from so many places and share not only art, but ideas and thoughts.
One of the ways Kundemor is reaching out to the SL community is by painting live on webcam. I was lucky enough to see one of these moments, beautiful music filled the gallery as I watched colorful images slowly appear. It was fascinating to see the progress from a blob of paint to a beautiful stroke on the canvas. This type of interaction is something Kundemor really enjoys and hopes to continue with in the future, along with perhaps a piano concert for which he has ample space.
After having seen many of the paintings in his gallery I was curious if he had a favorite. I know it is a difficult question, almost like asking a parent to choose which child is their favorite, but, Kundemor was thoughtful as he showed me a few of the ones he was particularly fond of. My personal favorite is a 3 dimensional painting, somewhat darker than the rest. I have included some images of my favorite as well as some he specifically pointed out to me. I really enjoyed getting to know a little bit about Kundemor and his paintings, they are beautiful and thought provoking. Please take a moment to stop by the gallery on your next visit to Studio Genre, I am sure you will find the paintings as interesting as I did. Thats all for now, until next time...Tessa1 Beck.