Stevon Lucero – Artist Conversations – Part I
With drive, passion and purpose Stevon Lucero’s destiny has always been to be an artist. His path was predetermined by the universe. His art is colorful and shares the intimate knowledge and experiences presented to this visionary.
The Smithsonian visited Colorado recently looking for the prominent Latino artists of the community. They visited the Museo de las Americas where they recommended Stevon Lucero and his wife Arlette’s artwork. “This all came about totally out of the blue,” states Lucero. The Smithsonian is gathering everything that has ever been written about the artists, as Lucero describes it “Everything that has my name on it, including my stories.” This process has caused Lucero to rediscover his own artwork. “The archivists are going to digitize everything and our work will be displayed in chronological order. So we have started to collect stuff and I freaked out,” stated Lucero “I have done so much art, so much so that I have art that I have completely forgotten about. I will look at posters and say “wow I don’t remember doing that”, and then I started going through photographs and all the sudden I am realizing that I’ve done art that I don’t remember even doing and yet, that is all that my life is. I don’t have a life when I stop and think about it. This is something that I think all your dedicated artists suddenly come to the realization of, that what life they do have is in their work.” After a pause of reflection Lucero then shares that when he does look at a painting he can remember the music that he listened to while he painted it or how he was feeling, “like that little memory is locked in that painting.”
“You just come to the realization thats it, thats all that you are is your artwork. I realized that I have been putting something together, that there is something that is unfolding in my work that links everything together and I hope to live long enough to be able to put it all into sequence,” states Lucero. “I am writing now, I am writing these stories are on my website. There are currently 11 stories listed and these link into other things, it goes back to my mysticism. Why is it that I have gone through these extraordinary experiences when I thought everybody was going through it. Then I find out that everybody is not and that everybody thinks you’re nuts and you’re the odd man out,” Lucero laughs. “You are having experiences that other people are just saying “wow” to. Obviously the question is why? What happened to me? Something opened me up and it hasn’t stopped, it still continues to this day.” At a very young age Stevon Lucero began to experience visions and lucid dreams that connected him to separate realities. These visions have led him through the studies of metaphysical, philosophical and historical medias which then allowed Lucero to create unique artistic styles: Metarealism and Neo-Pre-Columbian or Aztec art.
Lucero pauses for a moment and then begins to reflect back to a story. “You discover little things like this; I was reading the linear notes from Pink Floyd’s first album Relics. There is a song on the album called the “Paintbox” and it is about a young artist who at the age of 17 his mother gave him a paintbox and he became an artist. Pink Floyd recorded it on November 2, 1967. On November 2nd, 1967, which happens to be my birthday, I was born on The Day of the Dead, my mom gave me a paintbox and I did my first painting from that and I still have my first painting, I was 17.”
Lucero’s first painting, called “The Mask” shows this distorted person, “What an artists objective goal really is, is trying to find the authenticity of his own being. Cause all of us have that question, who am I? What am I doing here? What is the purpose of my life? Know thy self. We are all going through a process evolving our own souls. The first thing that I recognized as a child was that everyone wore a mask. That the whole idea of personality had a strange construct to it, and I don’t know why I had that intuition it is just something that was relayed through my very first piece. Right from the onset I was trying to explore that, not even knowing what I was doing, just going from my intuition. Of course my mother said “why aren’t you painting nice pictures, why are you painting this weird stuff?”
Lucero’s mind is complex and each piece he creates is profound and part of a spiritual journey that he is on, however, we, the audience, is invited to walk along the path of this journey and and are welcomed to understand the interpretation of the vision. Lucero is gifted in his knowledge and approach to not only his artistic expression but how he views the world and the process and development of our world not only on a spiritual level but in the arts that are reflected through time.
Lucero spoke of a time that he painted with a friend, intent on learning new techniques and expanding his knowledge. Lucero had explained to his friend that when he used the technique that the friend had taught him that he found himself veering off and creating what he calls his metarealism; placing symbols throughout the art and that he would go into a trance. His friend stops him and says “what are you telling me, you are one of the great artists?” Lucero explained that he was baffled by the abrupt outburst from his friend and while he and his friend remain close, he believes this to be the one any only time that he truly upset his friend. The friend went on to say “you’re telling me your compelled.” Lucero then stated that he denied the prospect of what his friend was telling him and that he just couldn’t help himself when he used the new techniques he had learned from his friend. The friend went on to explain “well that is compelled and all the great artists are compelled and now you are telling me that you are a great artist because you are compelled.” The friend went on to explain to Lucero that what Lucero was creating with his art is a new way of seeing; redefining and creating a mystical language, which is what separates his art from surrealism and why Lucero calls his work Metarealism.
Lucero begins to explain the differences in his work and the journey that all artwork has taken in this world. “Surrealism is locked into the post industrial age psychology of the time people were discovering the subconscious,” states Lucero. “All of that was what emerged from psychologists, it was very temporal in its basis and intellectual, it was an extension of what was all going on before. After the atomic bomb, something split, something changed in the human psyche, everything went to a different level of consciousness and we are in that atomic age now. I think computers are a by-product of that,” Lucero explains. “The people that came out of the 60’s era, myself included, one of the common denominators was, whether it was rebellious or this or that, people don’t understand that there was also a spiritual thing happening that we didn’t realize at the time. There was a whole post war generation that was asking the question “what’s the truth?”. We had been told all these things, then we grow up and it turns out that they are all lies and now we were being told that those were lies and now here is the truth; and the truth was war, violence and money and the whole generation just went “ah”, as Lucero threw his arms and hands in the air with an expressive gasp. “Rock and Roll came in and we rebelled! Underneath that there was a spiritual onset; we started embracing religions of the East, we started looking for something else, we started taking Christianity to a higher mystical level, people started exploring all these different avenues.”
“What I saw was, that’s what we were. In the renaissance we turned the vision around from being mystics and all this mystical spiritual stuff, and started to explore the phenomenal world and we started this process of evolution in the art world. It collimates with Modernism and dead ends in Minimalism, because in minimalism there is nothing left and everything else becomes redundant. So where do we go from there?” Lucero looks at me and without hesitation he says, “Well, you turn the vision around and say, who are we now? what are we now? Cause we are not that anymore, we are something different. There is a synthesis here that is going on that has a language and language is akin to dreams. The unique thing about dreams which goes to our subconscious is if you know how to interpret the dreams your dreams are precise, they tell you stuff. The thing is we don’t know understand the language. It speaks a language that has its own logic and its own reason,” explains Lucero. “We have all constructed a world within ourselves and that is why I talk about the externalization into your reality. Everybody has that construct and what you do is find the avenue of that. It’s like the genius symbology and you express it and you not only express what is happening in your soul and what you are evolving in but you also express what is happening to the collective because that great unconsciousness is going through a process.” (*)
Humble in his words, the ego has no place in his artistic path. “I have gone through my life thinking that I am invisible but sometimes young artists come to my door and thank me for what my art has meant to them and they just want to talk or the want me to be their mentor or teacher,” Lucero laughs a bit and continues “And then they go away and I forget about it. I don’t want to ponder it too long cause I’ve been through a battle with my ego forever anyway.”
Stevon Lucero will continue to be a prominent artist of our time. New audiences and collectors alike will enjoy the fact that Lucero has three (3) upcoming exhibitions that will allow you to experience this artists work up close and personal.
Art will continue to ripen as the sweet fruit and nectar that it is. It will morph into something else by way of the real world experiences shared by both the artist and the world around us. Experience the art and culture that surrounds us first hand, become a collector.
Where you can experience the artwork of Stevon Lucero:
First Friday Reception, October 7th, CHAC Gallery Norte (Chicano Humanities and Arts Council), 774 Santa Fe Drive, Denver CO 80204, Located along the Santa Fe Arts District, chacweb.org
Sol Shine Art Gallery, exhibiting Lucero’s work through the month of October, 1501 Boulder Street, Denver, CO 80211 located in the LoHi Neighborhood. TheSolShine.com
Bridge Span 14, exhibiting Lucero’s work through the month of October, 110 16th Street, Suite #100, Denver, co 80202 located in the heart of Downtown Denver, BridgeSpan14.com
Learn more about the artist and read his visionary experiences at Stevon Lucero
(*) Special Note: I have been following the artistry of Stevon Lucero for many years and was pleased to hear that he is being recognized. Due to the level of information that still needs to be shared, this article will be the first of several “Artist Conversations” with Stevon Lucero.