Marcos Dorado, known for his classical realism drawings, is one of the most connected people in the Fresno-area arts community. He's a familiar presence at ArtHop, a frequent originator of community-themed art projects and a savvy user of social media to promote his work.
He's moving away from Fresno, but not without a last hurrah. His "Leave Art in Fresno (My Farewell Exhibit)" opens tonight at Peeve's Public House as part of ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods.
The 45-year-old Dorado, who didn't get started seriously as an artist until age 30, is ready for his next adventures: getting married; enrolling at Ithaca College in New York; teaching at the community college level; and making plans to attend Cornell University for a master of fine arts degree. We caught up with him for an interview.
Most artists embark on a career in their 20s, and you waited. What impact do you think this had on your career?
Starting later than most allowed me to approach art in a more balanced way. As I tenaciously worked at developing my skill in drawing, I also studied the business side of art. Consider networking, for example. In my early 20s, I had not learned, yet, the value of connecting with people. After failures and successes at business, 10 years later, I gained an appreciation for networking. Now it's second nature to me. The rise of social media has proven to be a magnificent tool for my work.
How do you describe your technique?
Often people refer to my work as sketches, but the finished work that I create is drawing. A sketch is a rough draft, whereas a drawing is the refined work.
Another misconception about my work is that "it looks just like a photograph." I suppose that people mean that I created a good likeness of someone they know or that my work is highly rendered. This may be the case, but I do not do photorealism. Photorealism is a discipline in which the artist draws or paints directly from a photo and the goal is to, literally, make the work look like a photograph. Photorealism came en vogue during the 1960s and 1970s.
Classical realism, on the other hand, has its roots with the Renaissance and as far back as the Golden Age of Greece. It seeks beauty, and its pillars reside on direct observation of the model, landscape or still-life composition. Through direct observation, too, we perceive light and shadow and perspective differently than through the camera lens.
How did you decide which works to include in the show?
This show is an anthology of my work. I've discounted the price of my work greatly because I wish to leave my art in Fresno rather than take it to New York.
Fresno has offered me the great opportunity to develop as an artist. It's a perfect city in which any aspiring artist can learn how to try out his/her inspiration for exhibits and projects.
ArtHop here is unlike any other, indeed. I could not have asked for a more supportive community. For this reason, I am happy to leave my work here. There are many who have collected my work already, and still many who have not. Before I go eastward, I hope that my remaining drawings find a home here.
If you go
Marcos Dorado's "Leave Art in Fresno (My Farewell Exhibit)," opens 5-8 p.m. Thursday, July 3, and runs through July 28, Peeve's Public House, 1243 Fulton Mall. Details: www.peevespub.com, (559) 573-5735. Free.
Participating ArtHop venues: www.fresnoartscouncil.org.
To read an extended interview with Dorado, go to www.fresnobeehive.com.
Also at ArtHop
More picks for ArtHop, which runs 5-8 p.m. Thursday unless otherwise noted:
Fresno Bee artist SW Parra, who swept the Editorial Cartoon category in this year's California Newspaper Publishers Association competition, will display a retrospective of his cartoons, right, at The Bee, 1626 E St. You'll get a chance to meet the artist and interact with a special life-size cartoon. Details: (559) 441-6111.
Spectrum Art Gallery, 608 E. Olive, is hosting an extension of a photography show running at the Fresno Art Museum. The exhibition, featuring works by Spectrum members, honors the 50th anniversary of the federal Wilderness Act. Details: www.spectrumphotogallery.org, (559) 266-0691.
Hazel Antaramian Hofman and Michael Roy McDonald are new members at Fig Tree Gallery, 644 Van Ness Ave. Antaramian's exhibition, right, integrates her interests in Armenian history and culture, and her ethnographic studies of mid-Soviet era Armenian history "as part of a more global view of the physical, spiritual and cultural displacement of people." McDonald's exhibition of primal images emerging from rock uses sand, gravel and earth pigments in an elemental process. Details: www.figtreegallery.us, (559) 485-0460.
At Gallery 25, 660 Van Ness Ave., Sammy G's exhibition explores the nature of contrast and backgrounds in conjunction with the comic book world of heroes and villains. The ArtHop opening runs 5-9:30 p.m. An artist's reception is 6-10 p.m. July 19. Details: www.gallery25.org, (559) 264-4092.
If you haven't checked out the new M Street Arts Complex at 1419 M St., it's become a vibrant ArtHop destination. This month's show features the large-scale sculpture and nebula-inspired paintings of mixed-media artist Terry Ellsworth, right. Details: www.mstreetarts.com, (559) 438-8200.
Stan Grosz of Horn Photo is featured artist at the Jewel fm Gallery, 1415 Fulton St. His theme: Cows in unusual places. Details: www.kjwl.com, (559) 497-5118.
— Donald Munro,
The Fresno Bee