Mural by artist Edward O'Brien
Treasure of a Book About Mural Artist Edward O’Brien
Peter Lopez, a well-known Las Vegas santero and folk artist, has published a beautiful little book about muralist Edward O’Brien.
Peter wrote the brief biography of O’Brien after coming upon a mural that had been hidden away inside St. Catherine’s School in Santa Fe, which had been closed for some years. Peter was intrigued by the work and the artist and pursued more information.
Eventually he came in contact with the Sikh community in Espanola where he learned of the mural O’Brien had painted there, his last commission before he died of a massive heart attack a week after its completion. The Sikhs were able to supply Peter with more details about the artist’s life.
O’Brien’s work is full of detail and depth. Its luminosity brings out layered images and his own humanistic spirituality. Although he grew up a Catholic, his years of study and contemplation lead him to accept that faith and spirituality has many levels and take many paths.
To get his book published Peter collaborated with a lithographer he knew in Europe and between them they got it to a printer in Zurich. The initial short run was published in 2011, and quickly sold out to museums and libraries. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the cost of printing 20 of these little treasures was in the neighborhood of $2,000; the books sold for $50 each. You do the math. The cost of printing an art book is steep. Quality color printing is expensive. To get the results you want requires an eye for detail and diligent attention along the way. This particular book has the biography Peter wrote on the left behind a cover. On the right behind another cover is a fold out panel that depicts each of the New Mexico murals O’Brien painted.
To print such a publication in mass is costly, which is why Peter is looking for other means of getting a larger run of the books produced. This will mean identifying patrons or sponsors to subsidize the book’s costs. If you are interested in helping fund this art book and tribute to Edward O’Brien, contact Peter at email@example.com or call him at 505 425-8214. To see Peter’s work check out his website images. Peter hopes to have a second larger run of the book available by the end of the year.
Tune in next week when my guests will be Lucas Cor Vatta, a comic performer who writes his own material and is a magazine contributor, and Karen Lenfestey, who will be talking about her novel, “A Sister’s Promise.”
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