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Alfredo Arreguin
  Participated in the Following Exhibitions Self-Portraits <1980>
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ARTIST INFORMATIONBIO  

Alfredo Arreguin

Born in Mexico in 1935, Alfredo Arreguin lived with his mother in his grandparents' household. He remembers his grandfather as the first to encourage his artistic talent, buying him colored pencils, brushes and paint. When he was 13 both his grandparents died, after which he lived with various relatives until he moved to Seattle in 1956. The Dam family, whom he had met when they were visiting Mexico, offered him a home and help in enrolling in the University of Washington. Except for a stint as a soldier in the Korean War and extended visits to Mexico, he has lived in Seattle ever since. His wife and daughter are also artists. He has become one of the Northwest's most prominent artists and is recognized nationally for his intricately patterned and exuberant paintings. He starts each day with a walk around Green Lake then settles into the basement studio in his home to paint (side-by-side with his wife). Although his paintings are very large (some triptychs are as large as 6 feet by 12 feet) he paints with a very small brush. Seen in real life, there are small detailed patterns and lines all over his paintings which often make them seem to pulse or vibrate. His paintings are usually oil on canvas. Arreguin draws from both his Mexican roots and the Northwest landscape in his paintings. He is very concerned about protecting the environment, both the lush rainforest jungles of Mexico that he learned to love as a young man and the mountains, rivers, prairies, flora and fauna of his current home, the Northwest. His patterns often come from ancient, pre-Aztec images or Mexican tiles; sometimes they are purely geometric and optical patterns. His paintings often include people he admires: heroes like Cesar Chavez or Chico Mendes, poet friends, artist Frida Kahlo, environmentalist Hazel Wolf. He painted a series of Madonnas, the paramount symbol of Mexican cultural and religious identity. Arreguin thinks of them as spiritual guardians of the natural world, sometimes serene, sometimes sad, sometimes ferocious.