My partner Richard Kurtz & I visited artist Nero’s studio in Glorieta, New Mexico, not long ago.
He made us some of his well known hand roasted coffee
and treated us to a late morning look into his art realm.
The coffee was ever flowing and his stories deep and heartfelt.
We made a new friend.
The words that follow are the artist’s own- the photos by me.
“I declared that I was an artist in the 3rd grade.
With few deviations I have stayed the course.
That said, I did earn a degree in Interior Design and Architecture from Kent State University.
I worked in my family’s business, Aurora Auction and Farmers Market/Flea Market from the age of 10.
It was not unlike growing up in the circus.
All manner of misfits and lunatics rolled through including Patty Hearst in the 70’s.
The family biz then became a fine furniture store and design studio.
In Tampa and Tallahassee I hung wallpaper and did house painting for a living.
In Cleveland, Ohio I was the art director of an alternative bar and nightclub
where Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins and Bela Fleck, among many other groups performed early in their careers.
I demand of myself to make powerful and challenging work.
I have never been interested in the easy route, or the easy image.
I rarely stop at the 1st iteration of a drawing or painting.
I need to push past the first marks and forms, which become a history.
“Failure of nerve, Not allowed.”
“Studio Before kitchen!”
(Keeping priorities straight, as in I designed and built my studio way before I built my home.)
These two statements originated with my professor, Trevor Bell, while I was his studio assistant during my graduate studies at Florida State University
I always have music on in the studio.
I cannot work in silence.
Music informs my work.
My work has been driven by “mind” for over 20 years.
What I mean by that is; How the mind and thought works.
Where does thought come from?
What exactly is it?
My oldest sister was blind and retarded.
She never spoke.
What were her thoughts like?
Science is suggesting now that our heart and stomach have as much to do, if not more, with our thinking and decision making as our minds.
The average individual has around 50,000 thoughts per day.
Most of it useless and redundant.
Advita Vedanta or non dualism holds my attention.
Papaji says “ Don’t follow the thought!”
What influences thought besides everything?
Currently, I am immersed in my painting and drawing and feel much too close to the work to effectively speak about it.
I will say, however; that the work is evolving in complexity and energy.
With the latest paintings, the mark-making, erasures and a looser and generally darker palette (with some exceptions) are bringing them closer to how I draw on paper.
This excites me.
I continue to use my “dendrite” graphic references, only now there is greater luminosity and depth.”
See more of his work on Nero’s website
“Failure of Nerve, Not Allowed” • Artist Nero by Jennifer Esperanza
All Right Reserved