One of Michael Aaron Gallagher’s greatest passions is Latin American art and culture.
Some of the finest paintings in his collection include works by artists from across the region.
His first piece of art in this category was a small colorful cubist sketch on paper by Juan Cruz. Often called “the Puerto Rican Picasso,” Cruz shared a private tour of his studio with Michael back in the early 2000’s and explained that some of his work has been displayed in prestigious locales, including the New York office of then Senator Hillary Clinton. (This sketch is currently on the Introduction page.)
Often, Michael will select a piece of art based on a personal connection he has with the work, only later to discover it was painted by a well-known Latin American artist.
One such example was “Girl with Bird” by Jorge Imana Garron. Celebrated as one of the Masters of Bolivian Art of the 20th Century, Jorge Imana Garron’s extraordinary work was painted in 1965 and was exhibited at the 12th Annual San Diego County Fiesta Art Exhibition. (This painting is currently on the Introduction page.)
Another example was a pair of small oil paintings he purchased, which were titled “Girl with a water jug” and “Gypsy girl in a red dress” by artist Maria O’Dell. She explained that the paintings were originally inspired by photographs she saw online.
“When I saw the pictures, I felt a deep connection and was instantly inspired to do a painting,” she wrote. “Something about the old tall doors and the girls that reminded me of myself when I was 6, and a memory of my childhood when I lived in Ecuador, before we moved to New York in 1966.”
O’Dell, who signs her works MODELL, is best known for her mermaid paintings, which are sold in seaside gift shops along the East Coast of the U.S.
Paintings by Latin American artists are a primary focus of The Michael Aaron Gallagher Collection, as it continues to celebrate the beauty and diversity of artistic ideas across Central and South America.
To view more original works of art in The Michael Aaron Gallagher Collection click here.