NAME: - - - - - - - - - the Luna Family
COVER: - - - - - - - - Artists, Sculptors, Poets, Tennis Players
MISSION: - - - - - - -To use a palate rich with color and classic thought.
Jesse Luna ascended to great heights in the Aztec aristocracy. Her knowledge of root structures and her ability to manifest them in her paintings made her a figure to watch. But it was her "Images of Women" show that established her as the leading artist/priestess in the Aztec hierarchy. Thirty-five cloth dolls constituting a sociological mapping of female types--an exorcism that rendered her free of the common course. It was then that she was called on to touch the sun. For the occasion she wore white fringe and was heard to exclaim, "Oh, what a feeling, what a wonderful feeling--like dancing in the afternoon with my boys!"
Jessie Luna with her various "images of women".
Dan Luna, Sr. was the winner of four European Championships before the age of twenty-three. "It is form," he later would say, "that gives you the edge. With it comes the angles and power plays that open the entire surface to your game." As Governor, he adapted his administration to this rule. The letter of the law was followed down every corridor and was violated only for the sake of its spirit. The result was a balanced state, a condition that reflected the hard-earned status of the Governor himself.
The Luna boys are warriors--absurdists--satellites orbiting their father's words and their mother's cells. Powered by the contradictions of the prevailing culture they respond as if the pointless required the most exacting touch. They are Cheech and Chong on a mission from God.
What have you boys decided to be? - - - - - - -Great painters and sculptors. So what's the problem? - - - - - - - - - - - - - There's a hole in our Mae West! How is it repaired? - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - With crass humor! How then can you make people happy? - - - - - - - By winking at them.
When their work was recognized in a retrospective at the Guggenheim, the commemorative catalog opened with an essay by renown sociobiologist, Edward Pickering. The essay concludes with the following:
"The artist is society's sixth man. He surveys the stimulus field and provides what's missing. His role is to contribute color and contour to the game plan, mending the viewer's faith by hemming the visionary fabric.
"The Luna's have rotated the dark side of our plan to the light. The chrome and glass of our future must have flesh if consciousness is to include feeling. For this reason, they paint the abstract in earth tones, the postures and expressions of their subjects telling biological truths.
"Consider in this regard the two paintings of Picasso's wife by Daniel Luna, Jr. In the first, she is bent over, grieving, her head in her hands, the picture of defeat. In the second, she has regained herself, her head up, her back erect, she is composed--handsome. The first pictures her the moment Picasso died; the second, five minutes later. With the second, the fabric is mended, that which was missing is provided. The struggle can go on.
"The Luna's know that death propels the merry-go-round but like all great evolutionary artists they long to get off, to free themselves from karmic debt and karmic return and so, to this end they are committed. Their strategy has been to play the fool, free to inch his way unnoticed to the center. In this way they embrace their mission--brushes and palates drawn. They are men blessed with the madness, believing the lion soon will lay down with the lamb."
NO ART STAYED HOME TONIGHT Painting by Daniel Luna, Jr.
Jessie Luna died in 1984. She was 45. The boys painted her casket while her daughter and sisters prepared the body. She was driven to the San Luis Valley, the oldest settlement area in Colorado, and buried within the 48 hours during which one may be buried without embalmment. Daniel Luna, Jr. shaved his head to mark the period of mourning.
Dan Luna, Sr. is retired, and along with daughter, Susan, and sons, Mark and Richard, directs Luna Tennis, a tennis program for inner-city youth. Eric writes poetry. Bob and wife, Martha, paint and construct large murals, promoting community involvement and pride. Daniel Luna, Jr. is one of Colorado's most celebrated artists.
What follows is an exhibit of recent paintings by Daniel Luna, Jr. along with excerpts from his "artist's statement."
DANIEL LUNA, JR. EXHIBIT Painting by Daniel Luna, Jr.
ON STYLE: People always ask what my style of painting is called. Is it Southwest, Chicano, Modern? Most of my paintings have a story behind and in them. I was raised in this area of the world, (Southern Colorado and Denver) and with the help of my father we conceived of the following: I, Daniel Luna, am a Regional Mythologist.
Why do I use the black line in all of my paintings? A lot of people make this mistake of seeing the black line as an outline. If it were just an outline, it wouldn't be fund to do. The black outline is the final carving on the blocks of color I use to entice the viewer's use of their imagination. It also leaves the viewer no choice other than to accept the reality of the possibility of the existence of the vision I have presented them. Whether they like it or not is of no consequence. What I want is for a moment to share the beautiful magic of dreaming while awake. I like to mix the erotic with the common place objects of existence because I see no difference. A broken cup, an electrical outlet, deteriorating bricks, all have a theatrical essence that is the core of the erotic; and the Erotic, as a healthy state of being, should be as common in our existence as electrical outlets.
Painting by Daniel Luna, Jr. Painting by Daniel Luna, Jr.
ON WOMEN: Why do I paint so many women? I am so curious about how women view the world. I have this haunting knowledge that everything I perceive is viewed in a different manner by the other creatures of the world, women. By painting the beauty and strength of women, I pay homage to that other unique view that exists simultaneously with my male view.
Painting by Daniel Luna, Jr.
ON PUTTING A PRICE ON ART: People ask me why the price of my art is so low. How funny that is to me. My price is what is fair to me. Being fair makes me feel good and makes my spirit feel healthy. The audacity of some folks telling me to raise my prices. I want to tell them, "Hey, you go make something and you can charge whatever you want for it." I think it is very important for people to exercise their style of existence. And by being able to afford a unique piece of art from another human being bonds us to the magic of us as creative, powerful creatures. Maybe the artwork is like little night lights for people to put by their beds of imagination to keep away the bogy men of mediocrity.
Painting by Daniel Luna, Jr. Painting by Daniel Luna, Jr.
ON SCARY IMAGES AND DAILY AFFIRMATIONS: I paint things that are highly improbable but not impossible, like fun. I have fun painting very scary things and I have fun painting beautiful things that include the strangeness of the fact that beautiful things do not in themselves know their beauty. I like to screw with the viewer's arrogance about what should be. And to do this, my skills have to be constantly honed. I paint and draw every day and try to have fun every day. I think it's funny when I feel I'm not having fun.
Mural by Daniel Luna, Jr. Copyright © D. Thomas, 1999 - Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org