I was just lucky that day back in December of 2006 when I stopped by to visit my friend Randy who works as one of Seattle's best picture framers. He was getting set to work on a painting by a friend of his and I just fell in love with it on first look. "Is there any way it is for sale?" I asked. "I'll call my friend and see," he told me.
After a brief phone call, Randy relayed some good news and some bad news. Yes, his friend would be willing to sell it to me but I should know it would not be available for some time as it was being prepped for shipping to Washington D.C. where it would hang in the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery.
Randy's friend was well-known painter Mexican artist Alfredo Arreguin and the work I saw that day was his 1998 portrait of fellow painters Frida Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera. Here is the jpeg Alfredo sent me after my check cleared. :) Until yesterday it was all I had to remember the piece by.
Frida Y Diego hung in the National Portrait Gallery from May 2007 until February of this year and last month finally made its way back home to Seattle where Mr. Arreguin lives with his lovely wife Susie, also a very accomplished artist. I had the pleasure of visiting their home yesterday to pick up the painting and hear a little of their 35 year love story.
Like everyone, I enjoy beautiful things around me, but I will treasure my new acquisition even more having stood with the artist on the spot where it was created. In case you are wondering, as I was, it took Alfredo just nine weeks to paint it, despite the painstakingly detailed mosaic and the very large canvas. I waited a year and a half to get it home and hung and here's what it looks like above the doorway to my living room.....
For my Western Washington readers, the Linda Hodges Gallery on First Avenue in Seattle is showing some of Alfredo's work through the month of May. Click here to see some images.