.

.
.

LINKS TO SECTION PAGES
.  
 
.  
 
   
Mario Gonzalez Chavajay has been painting for nearly twenty years. He is one of two younger brothers of Pedro Rafael Gonzalez Chavajay who are painters. Mario perfected his technique painting for the local galleries catering to tourists. Four years ago he decided he wanted to paint original themes and now works exclusively for Arte Maya Tz'utuhil. His paintings are being shown with the blockbuster exhibition "Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya," and are in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

UNTIL APRIL 15, 50% OFF ALL PAINTINGS BY MARIO GONZALEZ CHAVAJAY

   
.  

NEW: Arte Maya Tz'utuhil's first venture into posters are reproductions of two paintings of Pedro two different artists, Rafael Gonzalez Chavajay and Paula Nicho Cumez. We hope to soon be offering posters by other artists.

We also have a few serigraphs and lithographs by Carlos Merida. Carlos Merida is probably the most famous artist from Guatemala. During the 1940s and 1950s did several series of prints of the traje (traditional  dress) of the Indians of Guatemala and Mexico.

We have a postcard set that features paintings by six different Maya artists.

 
.
.
Pedro Rafael González Chavajay, Rafael's grandson, took up painting and became San Pedro la Laguna's second painter. Over time his painting developed a distinctive style and he was instrumental in defining the Tz'utuhil style of painting. Along with his cousin Mariano Gonzalez, Pedro Rafael is considered San Pedro's finest artist. In Guatemala he has the reputation as the best among the many autodidactic Mayan painters. Pedro Rafael has worked exclusively with Arte Maya Tz'utuhil since 1992. His paintings were shown with the blockbuster exhibition "Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya," and are in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
.
Diego Isaias Hernandez started out working in colored pencils on paper. He graduated to sculpture but finally ended up becoming an oil painter. Wisely he decided to learn on his own with the result that he has developed an original style which still is uniquely Mayan. Among all of the Mayan painters he comes up with some of the most interesting titles for his paintings. He won first prize in Guatemala's most prestigious art competition for a painting entitled "Mitch" about the hurricane which passed through Central America cause much destruction and loss of life.
.  
In the 1970's Jose Antonio Gonzalez Escobar travelled to the United States to exhibit his paintings with the other major painters of the time, his father and first Tz'utuhil painter, Rafael Gonzalez y Gonzalez, Juan Sisay of Santiago Atitlán and Andres Curruchich the first Kaqchikel painter from  San Juan Comalapa.  Jose Antonio's many years of painting have firmly established his position among  the Tz'utuhil painters. Jose is one of only two Tz'utuhil painters who live in Guatemala City rather than on Lake Atitlán. Two now internationally famous Tz'utuhil artists, Pedro Rafael Gonzalez Chavajay and Mariano Gonzalez Chavajay, began their oil painting careers working with their uncle Jose Antonio.
   
  Paula Nicho Cumez is unquestionably the most important woman artist among the self taught Maya painters of Guatemala. She is a Kaqchikel Maya Indian from San Juan Comalapa, the other area with a concentration of Maya artists painting in a style that comes out of their own Maya culture.
.  
  Maria Elena Curruchiche is the granddaughter of illustrious Andres Curruchich the first painter from San Juan Comalapa. Her father was also a well known painter. She and her cousin Rosa Elena Curruchich were the first women painters from Comalapa. (Yes, their last names are spelled correctly. The family added an "e" to the spelling.)
.
  Lorenzo Gonzalez Chavajay died in 1996. He had taken up painting late in life and had only been painting for about seven years when he got sick and died. He is the only truly naive artist among the Tz'utuhil Maya painters. He was entirely self taught, and his style was completely his own. His works are at the same time naive and modern, Guatemalan and Maya. I know of no better naive Guatemalan artist. After I met Lorenzo I bought almost everything he painted. His paintings are now hard to come by, and this is the largest collection of his paintings to go on the market.
.  
Domingo Garcia Criado is one of the few San Pedro artists to people his paintings almost exclusively with people wearing the traje of his pueblo—the other artists preferring the traje of the major tourist towns Santiago Atitlán and Chichicastenango. Domingo has stylized the designs on the traje and in nature to such a degree that his paintings while still naive have a definite op-art or art deco connection.
.
  Jose Maria Gonzalez Cox (Chema Cox) and his nephew Edwin Gonzalez create the most carefully detailed watercolors you can imagine. Their paintings are of the highest quality. The style of their paintings is not the Tz'utuhil Maya style of their community, but a style that comes from a European influence. Their paintings always, however, depict Maya traditions usually set in the grandeur of Nature.
.
  Margarito Chex Ic� lives in San Juan Comalapa. His style is quite distinctive and typical of the his town. He typically paints festivals and market scenes of the various Maya communities he has visited. His paintings are brightly colored and feature the traje (traditional attire) of many towns that the Tz'utuhil Maya artists seldom paint.
.  
  Probably the most famous artist from San Pedro la Laguna is Mariano Gonzalez Chavajay. Mariano along with Pedro Rafael Gonzalez Chavajay are the two most accomplished oil painters from San Pedro. Mariano's specialty is large paintings of Maya life and traditions.
.  
  Vicenta Puzul de Gonzalez, the first Tz'utuhil woman oil painter, learned from her husband Mariano Gonzalez Chavajay. Vicenta has a natural ability. She learned quickly and well. Of all of Mariano's students she is the only one who can paint exactly like her husband. Her works are virtually indistinguishable from those of Mariano, except that her faces might be a little softer. For many years she relegated her painting to helping her husband, but in the last few years, with his support, has decided to paint on her own.
.  
  Juan Fermin Gonzalez Morales, is the eldest of three brothers who are painters. His work is distinctive because he usually situates his point of view from above. His paintings accurately capture the details of the way of life of Maya people, a way of life that is changing as the young people leave the villages for life in the city, and many traditions disappear.
.  
  Emilio Gonzalez Morales is the second of the Morales brothers. He started out painting in the San Pedro style, but in recent years has stopped painting accurate depictions of Maya traditions and instead tries to capture their essence from a different point of view.
   
Miguel Angel Sunu Cortez is a young teacher from San Pedro la Laguna who has been studying painting with Pedro Rafael Gonzalaz Chavajay. He is the only Tz'utuhil Maya painter who paints more slowly than Pedro Rafael. Although part of the reason he paints slowly is his inexperience, the other part is that he is extremely careful and pays great attention to detail. He paints no more than five paintings a year so to have one of his paintings is to have a rarity.
.  
  Julian Coche Mendoza, one of five brothers who are artists, is the only artist represented here who has gone to art school. He was obviously talented naive artist before he went to school, but once he left school he had trouble finding his path. After about ten years of experimenting in different styles, he began representing his Maya culture in a brilliantly colored style obviously influenced by cubism. His new style immediately became popular, and was copied by other Maya artists.
   
  By 1990 Matias Gonzalez Chavajay was recognized as one of the best Tz'utuhil Maya artists. His paintings combined attention to detail with a naive charm. Then he decided to stop doing fine paintings and focus on doing paintings quickly for the tourist market. I stopped buying from him because the quality went down, but I recently decided that his work still is charming, even though quickly done.
.  
  Maria Teodora Mendez de Gonzalez, the wife of Matias Gonzalez Chavajay, learned to paint to help her husband with the production of paintings for the tourist market. After they got their house built and their children's education paid for, Maria began doing paintings on her own and signing them herself. Because she worked so long on her husbands paintings, duplicating his style, her paintings are virtually indistinguishable, except perhaps by her interest in women's themes, from those of her husband.
.  
  Juana Elva Vasquez de Ramirez and her husband Nicolas Ramirez run an art gallery in Santiago Atitlan. Almost lost among the oil paintings in the gallery are tiny watercolors done by the two of them.
.
  Antonio Vasquez Yojcom from San Juan la Laguna learned to paint from Pedro Rafael Gonzalez Chavajay. He began painting on his own in around 1992. Unlike the artists who began a few years after him, he has kept to painting original themes rather than repetitiously painting the three or so themes that are sold to tourists in Santiago Atitlan.
   
.  
.
LINKS TO SECTION PAGES

 


To contact us write: Arte Maya Tz'utuhil, P.O. Box 40391, San Francisco, CA 94140.  Telephone: (415) 282-7654. I will be away from Thursday August 15 until Saturday August 23. Email me at

All paintings and photographs Copyright 1988�2013 Arte Maya Tz'utuhil
Todas pinturas y fotografías son
Derechos Reservados 1988�2013 Arte Maya Tz'utuhil 12345