I met Aaron Lopez Bautista when Jed, the owner of Shiprock Santa Fe and a long-time friend of mine, told me about a new artist he began to represent who creates phenomenal leather work. I was drawn to Aaron’s work the moment I saw it and I felt compelled to meet the artist. Aaron is a pleasure to know—he is kind, gentle and extremely creative and innovative. His presence is very ethereal and he seems to reside on a different plane of existence than the rest of us in this world. As an artist, he is living through his process. Everything he sees, everything he does, is connected to his techniques and the beautiful jewelry he creates. And when I ask him where he gets his inspiration—what urged him to begin making art—he explains this to me in a poetic fashion.
Here’s how Aaron describes how and why he works:
I was a kid with brothers and sisters living very simply with no tv, no kindergarten, no toys. In solitude I discovered my land. Rocks and random materials became my outlet to live in my dreams. I would fall into imagination before sleep and think of objects as a shelter, then as a roof collecting rain water and then as a series of rocks and sand to filter the water, to save it, for my corn land.
One time my mother took us to the country town of Guanajuato Mexico. Walking on the sidewalk I saw a tiny piece of leather, so clean, and the smell was so fresh. I put it in my pocket. Then I found a copper wire, and in the late afternoon I put the two together in a few different ways until it looked like a bracelet. That night was the last time I saw it, when I was a little kid.
Aaron came looking for my wife, Carol, and me at Indian Market a couple of years ago to thank us for being so supportive and asked if we would host a show for him at the gallery. We are honored to have Aaron with us in December and very excited that he will be demonstrating his process of leather braiding during the exhibition. In his pieces, Aaron works with only native tanned leather, free from chemical processing. He is forever attempting to capture ancient wisdom within his modern designs, just as when he was a little boy making toys from rocks and gifts from the land. Fascinated by the beauty of life and wanting only to represent its grace, he continues to grow as an artist. I look forward to representing his journey and forging a deeper relationship with this gentle spirit.
Owner & Founder
Four Winds Gallery