Originally published in the Fort Bend Herald July 19, 2016.
The evening of Saturday, July 9th I popped into B R Vino in downtown Rosenberg’s Cultural District. The atmospheric wine bar doubles as an art gallery. On display was local artist Orlando Reyna.
Reyna’s art varies from multi-medium pieces to traditional canvas paintings. He has found his niche in the painting and resining of old acoustic guitars. Reyna’s palette offers the eyes a mixture of the bizarre, and dare I murmur…even the beautiful.
Reyna’s virgin offering in the guitar series is titled Lighting Strike. Imagine an eighties L.A.-style abstract fashioned in the underworld, roughed out over a macabre background of dark blues and purples. The patches of red, magenta and yellow serve not to brighten but to burn. The single coil of copper that snakes its way up the fret board is a fitting garnish.
Other standout guitar art pieces are Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead.) The background from which the painted guitar is fastened is in the shape of a jet black coffin. Night of a Thousand Drunken Vatos is as colorful and crazy as its title suggests. Lluvia Purpura (Purple Rain) is a tasteful tribute to the late Artist Formerly Known as Prince. These guitar art titles are just a sample in a collection of many noteworthy pieces.
The bulk of Reyna’s canvas paintings, set against the guitar pieces, serve largely as filler. There are several worth citing due to their individual merit though. Sin Sentido (meaningless,) has a portal effect reminiscent of Mark Rothko. Breath of Fire, with its diagonal brushwork and vivid colors is engaging, as is Mascara Rojo (Red Mask.)
The center piece which ties the entire exhibit together in a loose theme is the canvas painting, Cabeza Loco. With its large, scribbled, skeletal-like visage and graffiti scrawled backdrop, it would hang perfectly at home in the dungeon of one of Walter White’s competitors.
Reyna’s brush technique is a self-taught, largely staccato application. His style is notable for his ability to lift dark undertones out of even the brightest of colors.
Orlando Reyna’s art collection will be on display at B R Vino’s through September. Stop by for a drink, a bite and a gander.
Matt Minor is a culture columnist for the Fort Bend Herald.