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Paris trough Mexican Eyes
The Art of Jaime Tafoya

by Teresa Salas

Tapatio painter Jaime Tafoya charts the unique urban context of two distant cities in his whimsical creations. Having resided in Paris, France during the past ten years, this Guadalajara, Jalisco born artist has developed an individual style which includes elements of European poster and pop art with a Mexican twist. Using oils, linen and wood, Tafoya creates scenes of everyday life in the big city. Plazas, parks and street side cafes are among some of his preferred subjects of inspiration, reveling both his admiration for Paris and love for the city he has left behind. "I paint Paris with the eyes of a Mexican," Jaime recently commented during an exhibition of his work in Jalisco's capital city.
For Jaime, Guadalajara symbolizes an important side of his art. It was here that he first began painting, manipulating elements to give his work specific intention and freedom of expression. But Paris has also been generous to him, providing the opportunity to meet and fall in love with Dragana, his wife. She is the inspiration behind the sensual feel to Jaime's work, and has sparked him to depict women in a sultry yet devout fashion.
Jaime moved to Paris to develop closer contact with international artists, to help expand his artistic style. "One of the principal characteristics of Latin American artists is the tendency to relate a story through their art. This trademark is known throughout the world," notes Jaime.
During his career, Jaime has been influenced by many of the social and ideological movements which have swept Mexico and the world since the 1960s. This also accounts for part of the reason he wanted to work with other artists, to experiment and expand his personal style. "At first, I only painted in black and white because, to be honest, I really didn't understand the mysteries of the claro obscuro style. After working with other painters, I managed to master that art. Now color is my favorite element to work with."
Self exploration and concentration are evident characteristics in Jaime's graphics. Tafoya believes that art is created from deep within the heart before it ever reaches the canvas. "A painting is not just something one looks at, it is also something that one feels," reflects the artist.
Jaime held his first exhibit in 1977 at the Galería de Esclera, owned by Paco Barreda, in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Since then, he has shown exclusively in Guadalajara and Paris, France. He currently has plans to mount openings in several other central Mexican cities, as well as parts of Europe.
It gives El antiQuario great pleasure to present an artist who is building a name in the Old World with art created through the eyes of a Mexican.