Master Chicano Artist George Yepes to Unveil New Work at Olvera Street

The 'Master Artists to the Stars' will be joined by former students from his art academy in group show at Corazon de Los Angeles.

By Diana Martinez, Contributing Writer

It’s a perfect match. George Yepes will unveil his latest work at Corazon de Los Angeles, historic Olvera Street’s newest gallery on Saturday, June 27, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Uniquely, this fine and folk art gallery and cultural marketplace, exhibits the work of well known veteran artists alongside emerging artists who reflect the beauty and depth of Latino history, life and culture.

In that spirit, for this show, Yepes will be part of a group exhibit with talented onetime students who completed his art academy, and are now accomplished artists in their own right: Juan Solis, Maria Kane, Gene Ortega, Saul Aguilera, Ricardo Estrada and Ulie Garcia,

Yepes is using every minute of his time to paint new work leading up to this show while coordinating the work of some of his former students. He is planning a surprise unveil that may include a new “celebrity” portrait.

(Painting by George Yepes)

(‘Adelita’  by George Yepes)

“We are very pleased that an artist as acclaimed as George Yepes will be showing his very latest work at Corazon de Los Angeles,” said co-owner Gloria Alvarez.

“The philosophy of our gallery, to showcase a blend of artists, is in complete agreement with his work to teach and inspire new artists,” said Alvarez, whose partners include husband Mike and cousins Pat Soto Lee, Debbie Soto Seanez, Manuel and Steve Soto-all longtime L.A. area businesspersons.

Corazon de Los Angeles has received high praise for being a welcoming place where people can be introduced to a range of authentic Latino art, whether they are longtime collectors or making their first art acquisition for a home.

“All of the artwork in our gallery tells a story, we provide an environment that is casual enough to allow our customers to imagine what the work will look like in their home. We offer a variety of items for art lovers on every economic scale,” Alvarez said.

“We can help our customers locate a fine art painting by a famous Master artist if we don’t currently have it in our gallery, or help them select a Mexican tapestry, pottery, jewelry imported from Peru, Mexico or by a local artisan. It’s all carefully selected and we pride ourselves in offering a kaleidoscope; a window into our wondrous diverse culture,” she said.

This attractive new venue, now celebrating its third anniversary, is providing a supportive space for artists to make their artwork available for purchase.

Yepes’ latest work is expected to be yet another milestone exhibit for the evolution of Chicano art with a new generation of artists who have been well schooled on technique and like Yepes, can say much with a paint brush.

“What I like about exhibiting at Corazon de Los Angeles is that the gallery, true to its name, is located in the heart of Los Angeles. Olvera Street, the oldest street in Los Angeles, the birthplace of the city of Angels, and the center of a giant in the art world where East L.A. begins,” said Yepes.

“It’s Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano history is deep. It attracts people from all over the city, and tourists from all over the world. So I liked the idea of bringing my art to new audiences, and exposing people to Chicano art.”

Yepes, originally from East Los Angeles has exhibited his work throughout the United States and internationally, but he is passionate about this venue which “brings him home.”

“The word is getting out that Chicano painters in Los Angeles should be exhibiting at Corazon de Los Angeles Gallery at Olvera Street … The heart of Los Angeles is a world art center, like New York, London, and Paris.” Yepes said.

“People from all over the world come to Olvera Street. Art Collectors from New York and other parts of the country visit Corazon de Los Angeles to buy my paintings.”

“Also, art collectors from Phoenix and San Francisco now fly in to L.A. to buy artworks at the gallery. After my exhibit last year my paintings were shipped to collectors in Mexico, London, and New York.”

In a career now spanning forty years, Yepes’ work has taken him from East L.A. to Princeton, NASA, Dubai, and Hollywood’s Silver Screens.

His paintings are in forty museum collections. He has always been an ambassador for Chicano art, from his early days as one of the original East Los Streetscapers to being sought after for the powerful images seen in feature films.

His paintings are in the personal art collections of Hollywood’s most cutting edge actors and filmmakers including Sean Penn, Madonna, Patricia Arquette, Nicolas Cage, Cheech Marin, Anthony Keidis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Quentin Tarantino, and Robert Rodriguez.

“The first time I stood in front of a Chicano painting – it was George Yepes’ Amor Matizado – I had the same feeling as when I first heard a tune by the Beatles,” Marin said.

Painting by Gene Ortega

“Redux” by Gene Ortega

Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp, Antonio Banderas, Eva Longoria, Carla Gugino, Marley Shelton and Patricia Arquette have modeled for several Yepes paintings. Since the year 2000, Yepes has collaborated with Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino on numerous projects including Once Upon a Time in Mexico 2003; the double feature Grind House 2007; Machete 2010; and the 2014 Robert Rodriguez/Frank Miller movie, Sin City 2  “A Dame to Kill For”.

“George Yepes is the rarest of talents,” said Director Robert Rodriguez. “I own several of his paintings, and whenever someone walks in and sees them for the first time, I have to stand close so I can catch their jaws before they slam into the ground. George’s work grabs you by the lapels and makes you feel as if you’re discovering art for the first time. He’s a master painter in the best sense, the art comes through him not from him. That is rare,” Rodriguez said.

Central to all of Yepes’ work continues to be what he calls, “the prevailing winds of the Chicano movement that sweeps inland from the coast of California, through the American Southwest, across Chicago, and New York.”

(Painting by Sal Aguilera)

(Painting by Sal Aguilera)

“All are welcome to experience that ‘wind’ with Yepes and his former students at our exhibit at Corazon de Los Angeles,” said Alvarez.

The exhibit runs through July and is free and open to the public.

For more information on George Yepes upcoming exhibit go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Corazon-de-Los-Angeles-at-Olvera-Street/. For The Academia de Arte Yepes and mural projects contact George Yepes at www.georgeyepes.com or the Academia de Arte Yepes at: http://www.georgeyepes.com/academia-de-arte-yepes/

Corazon LA is located at the historic Olvera Street Marketplace –W19A (upstairs)/634 N. Main St. Los Angeles, CA 90012.

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June 18, 2015  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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