Announcing My Debut Book: SPELLBOUND

I am very excited to announce my upcoming debut book Spellbound. It is a retrospective to be published by the wonderful Unicorn Publishing Group. In addition to producing beautiful books, they are a delight to work with.

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Photograph © Rhiana Roque

Press Release from Unicorn:

Unicorn acquires Santa Fe artist Fatima Ronquillo’s Spellbound

Unicorn, the visual art imprint of Unicorn Publishing Group LLP, is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with Santa Fe, New Mexico, artist Fatima Ronquillo for a Spring 2019 publication of a retrospective art solo, Spellbound, her debut book, which was acquired by Unicorn’s Chicago office. Ronquillo, a fast-rising star of the Santa Fe art community, is known and admired for her combinations of the techniques of the Old Masters with a playful, modern sensibility to create a world where Art History meets with imagined characters from literature, theatre, and opera.

Born in San Fernando, Philippines in 1976, Fatima Ronquillo emigrated as a child to the United States in 1987 where her family settled in San Antonio, Texas. Completely self-taught she began exhibiting her work from the age of fifteen and is now widely collected in the United States and internationally. Her work has appeared in numerous art publications including American Arts Quarterly, Southwest Artand, American Art Collector as well as in the fashion magazines Vogue Gioiello, Marie Claire, and in a Gucci special project, A Magazine Curated By Alessandro Michele. She lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Don Linn of Unicorn says “Unicorn is very excited to be working with Fatima Ronquillo, whose paintings I loved at first sight. Her Old Masters painting technique is extraordinary and there’s always a twist…a hint of wry humor beneath the surface. We look forward to sharing her paintings with an even wider audience. I’m confident they’ll become instant fans.”

Ronquillo says, “For the past decade, my painting life has been a meditation on the themes of love and devotion, enchanted flora and fauna, and personal and ancient mythologies. I have been spellbound by the hypnotic beauty of birds and beasts, and the ambiguous gaze of isolated figures. I am delighted that Unicorn is publishing my book of collected works and sharing this wondrous strange world of imagery.”

Museum of Spanish Colonial Art

I am very pleased and honored to announce my participation in a group show of wonderful artists at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “GenNext: Future So Bright” opens this Friday, May 4 and runs through November 25, 2018. Please come and celebrate the opening fiesta this Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

20180010“Girl and Goat at the Summit” 40×30 inches, oil on panel. Private Collection.

20180009“Crowned Nun with Marmoset” 30×24 inches, oil on canvas. Private Collection.

 

 

“Mythologies” show

The Meyer Gallery in Park City, Utah presents a solo exhibition of paintings inspired by classical mythologies in Ovid’s Metapmorhoses. Please celebrate with us on opening night this Friday, February 23, 5-7pm.

20180008
“Hebe with Crested Serpent Eagle” oil on canvas, 32×30 inches
20180007
“Hermes with Billet Doux” oil on panel, 14 x 11 inches
20180006
“Athena in Armor with Little Owl” oil on panel, 16×12 inches
20180005
“The Little Muse Erato” 8×6 inches, oil on panel
20180004
“Actaeon and His Dogs” oil on panel, 24×18 inches
20180003
“Narcissus” oil on panel, 10×8 inches
20180002
“Little Hercules with Serpent” oil on panel, 12×9 inches
20180001
“Juno and the Peacock” oil on canvas, 40 x 32 inches
Little Chief with Dog
“Little Chief with Dog” oil on canvas on panel, 20×16 inches

RedMilk Meets Fatima Ronquillo

Thank you very much to Chiara Manzoni and RedMilk Magazine, the fashion and culture magazine based in Milan, Italy for a wonderful interview.

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Interview by Chiara Manzoni in RedMilkMagazine on February 1, 2018

JEWELRY OR PAINTINGS? DISCOVER THE WORLD OF FATIMA IN THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW.

What is the relationship that you create with your works?

I always wish to create a sense of nostalgia… not necessarily about the historical past but of some memory evocative of personal romance or story specific to the individual looking at my paintings.

How do you choose the main subjects?

My subjects are often directly inspired by art history, books, poetry or opera. For example, I love Mozart’s operas so you often see Mozartian pages like Cherubino, my quintessential aspiring lover. Lately I have been reading about birds and they started appearing more and more, from songbirds to birds of prey.

In your paintings you express love and loss. Do you want to talk about these aspects?

Yes, we return back to that sense of nostalgia that may be an underlying thread in all my works. We’re all looking for an eternal love, and that longing implies an eventual loss.

You’re born in Philippines, do you transport your origins on your artworks?

Not specifically. However my figures have often been described as possessing a feeling of isolation. I came to the United States as a child and I admit that I’ve never fully lost that sense of uprooted loneliness that comes from having left the place of one’s birth and loved ones.

What are the concepts of “mystery” and “imagination”?

Mystery and imagination are the magic brought about by inspiration. It’s something I cannot force into being, but rather a gift by the muses.

There is a perceptible symbolism in your work, for example the eye. How do you take on this concept in your view?

I sprinkle symbolism throughout my works for additional layers of meaning and story to a viewer. Flowers and animals have symbolic and mythical associations and lend a narrative content. Sometimes it is quite literal as in an arrow-pierced wound symbolizing heartache.

Your art bring to the Mexican and Spanish Colonial art, but with a magical and romantic vision. What do you think about that?

One of my first memories as a child is the family altar of ‘santos’. In a way my paintings are reminiscent of those child like figures of saints with ivory heads. I also have lived in places with strong traditions of Hispanic art, first in the Philippines, San Antonio, Texas and now in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Is there any aspect of you that you’ve put in your paintings?

It is probably the “ambiguous gaze” in the eyes of my figures. I gaze at the figure, it gazes back at me, and it is perhaps that wonderment in the eyes that I hope is full of the emotions I feel when I create.

If we want find you in one of your creations, what would be and why?

“The Novice with Dog and Sweet Peas” … it is a painting of a nun with a little dog. I love it because it is a “devotional” painting of someone professing their vocation. And painting for myself is a devotion and a vocation. However I tend not to take myself all that seriously, hence the presence of the funny little dog.

“The lover’s eye”: what is emotion for you?

The lover’s eye paintings are all about love naturally. Someone secret or long gone. It is also a pictorial conceit of a portrait within a portrait. And perhaps a third eye, like a silent witness.

How do you feel when you are creating?

Mostly nervous. Sometimes excited.

Tell to us about your collaboration with A Magazine Curated by Alessandro Michele

Alessandro Michele is an extraordinary talent and visionary. After learning that he liked my work and found it an inspiration I was completely amazed and honored. So when Dan Thawley of A Magazine Curated By contacted me about contributing to the issue, my answer was an immediate “yes!”. In turn, I was inspired by Alessandro Michele and I ran with his “Blind for Love” theme and his coral snake has made it slowly into my paintings. It’s splendidly romantic imagery.

What is the relationship that you create with your works?

I always wish to create a sense of nostalgia… not necessarily about the historical past but of some memory evocative of personal romance or story specific to the individual looking at my paintings.

How do you choose the main subjects?

My subjects are often directly inspired by art history, books, poetry or opera. For example, I love Mozart’s operas so you often see Mozartian pages like Cherubino, my quintessential aspiring lover. Lately I have been reading about birds and they started appearing more and more, from songbirds to birds of prey.

In your paintings you express love and loss. Do you want to talk about these aspects?

Yes, we return back to that sense of nostalgia that may be an underlying thread in all my works. We’re all looking for an eternal love, and that longing implies an eventual loss.

You’re born in Philippines, do you transport your origins on your artworks?

Not specifically. However my figures have often been described as possessing a feeling of isolation. I came to the United States as a child and I admit that I’ve never fully lost that sense of uprooted loneliness that comes from having left the place of one’s birth and loved ones.

What are the concepts of “mystery” and “imagination”?

Mystery and imagination are the magic brought about by inspiration. It’s something I cannot force into being, but rather a gift by the muses.

There is a perceptible symbolism in your work, for example the eye. How do you take on this concept in your view?

I sprinkle symbolism throughout my works for additional layers of meaning and story to a viewer. Flowers and animals have symbolic and mythical associations and lend a narrative content. Sometimes it is quite literal as in an arrow-pierced wound symbolizing heartache.

Your art bring to the Mexican and Spanish Colonial art, but with a magical and romantic vision. What do you think about that?

One of my first memories as a child is the family altar of ‘santos’. In a way my paintings are reminiscent of those child like figures of saints with ivory heads. I also have lived in places with strong traditions of Hispanic art, first in the Philippines, San Antonio, Texas and now in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Is there any aspect of you that you’ve put in your paintings?

It is probably the “ambiguous gaze” in the eyes of my figures. I gaze at the figure, it gazes back at me, and it is perhaps that wonderment in the eyes that I hope is full of the emotions I feel when I create.

If we want find you in one of your creations, what would be and why?

“The Novice with Dog and Sweet Peas” … it is a painting of a nun with a little dog. I love it because it is a “devotional” painting of someone professing their vocation. And painting for myself is a devotion and a vocation. However I tend not to take myself all that seriously, hence the presence of the funny little dog.

“The lover’s eye”: what is emotion for you?

The lover’s eye paintings are all about love naturally. Someone secret or long gone. It is also a pictorial conceit of a portrait within a portrait. And perhaps a third eye, like a silent witness.

How do you feel when you are creating?

Mostly nervous. Sometimes excited.

Tell to us about your collaboration with A Magazine Curated by Alessandro Michele

Alessandro Michele is an extraordinary talent and visionary. After learning that he liked my work and found it an inspiration I was completely amazed and honored. So when Dan Thawley of A Magazine Curated By contacted me about contributing to the issue, my answer was an immediate “yes!”. In turn, I was inspired by Alessandro Michele and I ran with his “Blind for Love” theme and his coral snake has made it slowly into my paintings. It’s splendidly romantic imagery.

“Mad Enchantment” solo show

“There is a mad enchantment that possess the heart and mind when confronted by the possibilities glimpsed through visions of beauty and love…”

Santa Fe artist Fatima Ronquillo has created a body of work that is inspired by a feeling of intoxicating adoration. Her cherub-like subjects participate in situations of blind love set during springtime’s fleeting beauty. This ephemeral world that Ronquillo creates is filled with mythological subjects, blossoming flora and an enthralling innocence that is at once whimsical and nostalgic. The artist’s rich inspirations are derived from opera, literature and art history, allowing the viewer to marvel at Ronquillo’s classical techniques through a modern lens. “Painting in an Old Master’s style is difficult and engaging,” says the artist of her process. “I’ve been painting all these years and yet everyday I learn something new.”

Ronquillo was born in the Philippines in 1976 and emigrated to the United States at ten years old when her family moved to San Antonio. A self-taught artist, Ronquillo’s interest in art history and works of the past began when she was a child and continue to inform her painting style. Love, requited or unrequited, is a recurring theme in Ronquillo’s art and is portrayed through classical symbolism and magical realism. One symbol that is commonly found in Ronquillo’s work is the Lover’s Eye, a sentimental adornment that became popular in the 1700s with affluent families. Miniature paintings were commissioned to depict the eye of a loved one and were worn as a brooch or pendant with a decorated frame. Lover’s Eyes show up in Ronquillo’s paintings as reinterpreted historical references and symbols of infatuation. Another common symbol in Ronquillo’s work is the blindfold, which is often translucent to refer to the idea that while love is blind, it comes with an unapologetic awareness. The young cupid in “Blind Love” bears both symbols as he holds a Lover’s Eye close to his heart while gazing intently at the viewer through a sheer blindfold. Ronquillo laughs at this mischievous character in her painting. “He knows exactly what he’s doing,” she jokes.

Ronquillo’s lyrical paintings charm us with their innocence while drawing us into wistfully romantic narratives. Join us for the opening reception of “Mad Enchantment” on Friday, September 15th from 5-7pm.

– Kelly Skeen

20170017
“Wounded Mystic” 10×8 inches, oil on panel
20170016
“Bacchus with Little Pan” 24×20 inches, oil on panel
20170015
“The Judgement of Paris” 18×14 inches, oil on linen on panel
20170014
“Mad Enchantment” 40×30 inches, oil on canvas
20170013
“Bound Cherubina” 7.75×5.75, oil on panel
20170012
“Blind Love” 10×8 inches, oil on panel
20170011
“Cupbearer with Ornate Hawk Eagle” 30×24 inches, oil on canvas
20170010
“Allegory of Spring” 24×20 inches, oil on panel