Armando Adrian-López is a Tarascan native born in the village of Santa Maria Michoacan in S.W. Mexico. The underlying structure of his work stems from the folk art tradition of fashioning figures out of corn husks, twigs, reeds, and grass. These figures were often used as toys to occupy children while their elders tended the crops. When Armando was a child, his mother told him the story of a doll made by her father when she was a girl. She said the doll was so infused with a magical human likeness that the eyes (made from marbles) seemed to follow all that went on around it. The story became etched in Armando’s young mind, and at age four he began making dolls with the notion of instilling in them the same magical qualities as the doll in the story. His grandfather was known in Santa Maria and the surrounding villages as a master basket weaver and greatly talented all-around craftsman. He was also a teacher of crafts in and around his village. For hours each day, Armando watched his Abuelito at work weaving baskets, making benches, or fashioning toys. Observation soon turned into action as Armando began making his own creations. Armando uses both native and Catholic imagery in his mixed media work and his paintings. His materials are river willow twigs, corn husks, reeds, cattails, onion skin, dried flowers, ceramic clay, native grasses, 24k. gold leaf and egg tempera. He weaves and binds these materials into Santos, angels, altars, and other more worldly figures.
He currently resides with his family in Abiquiu, New Mexico, on an organic farm that he tends in his spare time. Many of the basic materials used in his 3D Mixed-Media sculptures are grown or collected on the farm. He also sculpts and fires the ceramic panels, heads, body parts and ornaments used in his work. My life is not separate from my art, my life is art and has always been art. I am, for all intent and purposes, self-taught.I have an unshakable belief in La Unidad, Unity in all things. I believe we are all connected to everything and everyone. I see myself as a spiritual storyteller; the narrative symbolic allows me to tell a stories in which I am not the sole interpreter, the viewer is also an interpreter. My imagery is intentionally accessible and universal by way of archetypes that are open and flexible enough to allow for many interpretations, not one interpretation. My use of visual language, the symbolic, expresses my intent to engage the viewer in a dialogue. Through this unspoken dialogue an intimacy arises and the space to dream, imagine, contemplate–that, to me, is freedom.