Thursday, April 10, 2014

My lost paintings have been found!

This is a rambling post because I am *so* excited!

The paintings (all oil on canvas) that were stolen from me by the Mexican government and 5 years later auctioned off.....................have been found!! 

was contacted by the collector a few years ago, he was at first concerned because he knew they had been stolen, I am grateful he had the moral compass to contact me. We chatted via FaceBook and he assured me he would have the paintings exhibited throughout Mexico.

Sadly, he passed away soon after contacting me... may you rest in peace Omar....Thank you!

All I knew of him was his kindness and that he was a young man. It was very sad. I waited before posting on his *In Memoriam FB wall*....
I didn't want to be disrespectful to all those grieving. I posted again a year later, and so it has gone until TODAY, when I finally received a response from his sister about these pieces that I LOVE so much; she now owns the paintings.

I have cried in relief!

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
Kahlil Gibran 
These two were part of the seven and are part of a series I painted entitled "The Soul Keeper."
The one above measures about 20" x 20"
and the one below measures about 3 x 4 feet. Each painting has poetry by one of my two favorite poets (Khalil Gibran and Pablo Neruda) that goes with it.

The US Embassy, the Mexican Embassy..not even the State Department could help me.... I prayed so much for them to come back to me, I imagined them in the same HUGE wooden box I built for them to be shipped there, just leaning outside our little home-I imagined it all with great Faith and prayer and *Quantum physics* imaginings too!

But they never arrived at my doorstep.

The box I shipped them in was so big, I had to enlist the help of 2 friends to carry it on top of a van, I remember driving through snowy streets to ship them down to Mexico...
The last time I saw them....

 *wow* It is very, very AWEsome to know where they are. 

I am not like this with all my work....I have collectors all over the world, many whom I have never met... but this group... (not the first to be stolen either, I had 3 paintings stolen from GALA theater in Washington DC many years ago-I have no documentation of those as I made them especially for the exhibit)- these were my favorite pieces at the time; sent down there for my first Museum show, in my *adopted country* -where my father lived for 8 years as a UN diplomat, where I spent many, many happy vacations....  where now I have not only the connection with my art there, but my Mexican partner in love & life -whom I met during that trip, who has never seen those pieces in person....

The heart's affections are divided like the branches of the cedar tree; if the tree loses one strong branch; it will suffer but it does not die; it will pour all its vitality into the next branch so that it will grow and fill the empty place.
Kahlil Gibran 

This is a small canvas,  I sent three of these they measure 9" x 12" and were part of my "Visual Poetry" series.

This one to the right is super meaningful as I painted it the first time that my son went on a full week's vacation with the ex husband.... I was so worried and concerned, it was my prayer for Sacred care while he was away.
This is a piece that was bathed in tears as I painted it during that week,
lots of rum and cokes and m&m's ..... a time where everything was so new to me. I married so young, that being a divorcee opened up a world of so many things.... dating and dancing and paying bills and worries as a student/working single mom.... but my son was my *all* (still is!).... I pray he is always protected and cared for my *All that Is*.

Love is the only freedom in the world because it so elevates the spirit that the laws of humanity and the phenomena of nature do not alter its course.
Kahlil Gibran

I also sent them some of my favorite "Abstracted figurative" pieces 
This piece measurees 2 x 3 feet (or larger)

These were pieces about love and desire. About broken pieces of humanity coming together to form an "us"

When I painted them, I was going through relationships in the style of the Surrealists: "serial dating"....
I was very interested in the concept of 'soulmates' and unions... sex was for the first time "in mind" and enjoyable (my first marriage is one I was forced into by my mother, it was love-less and sex was a chore).
I discovered so much about myself... a time of shedding and great personal growth.

See the wings? :
God has given you a spirit with wings on which to soar into the spacious firmament of Love and Freedom. Is it not pitiful than that you cut your wings with your own hands and suffer your soul to crawl like an insect upon the earth?
Kahlil Gibran

This piece measures about 2 x 3 feet.

Looking at this piece now, I clearly see my yearning for family and tender loving care. It is interesting to me to find all the mystical symbolism here, because I was just beginning to investigate it as I had spent several years immersed in my mother & step father's choice of religion (fundamentalist Christianity) as I tried to be accepted and loved by them (you can read a bit about that here:)

It is also interesting that even back then (these pieces are from around 2003)- my interest in native cultures, in particular of the Americas, was beginning to come through....

I could go on and on... and in the past I have... before Sergio accidentally crashed my website two years ago, I had documented all my contacts with Mexican and USA authorities to try to get my work back. There, I had letters from Mexico lying about the fact that they had my work... a letter from the Mexican cultural attache, washing his hands off of the whole "affair" (as he put it)- admitting, yet back pedaling re: his knowledge of the theft....  etc. etc.
BUT, I don't want to focus on all the negativity... I am excited to know where these pieces are, and will hopefully someday be able to better document them via good photos or scans.
Spiritual awakening is the most essential thing in man's life, and it is the sole purpose of being. Is not civilization, in all its tragic forms, a supreme motive for spiritual awakening?
Kahlil Gibran

Thanks for reading! Please share, leave a comment... 
I appreciate YOU!


Amy said...

Claudia, I am so thrilled for you! I know you have been thinking about these pieces often, especially lately. It must give you some peace and closure to know where they are. What a blessing!

Claudia Olivos and Sergio OlivosM said...

Thank you sooo much Amy!! It does feel good to know where they are!

lovelight to you dear friend!

Sheree Rensel said...

First, I am so happy these paintings have been found. Second, I can't believe how different this work is compared to the work I have come to know you make. The techniques are similar, but the imagery is so different. Both styles are wonderful. I am curious. Do you plan to do any more paintings similar to these?

Claudia Olivos and Sergio OlivosM said...

Thanks for the accolades Sheree!
These paintings are a bit closer to my style... for the last two years-and especially the last... I have been *playing* with acrylics and mixed media...
Part of the *recess* I took from oil painting was due to the heavy metal issue I was dealing with, part was due to personal/financial changes that occurred mi 2011 ... but yes, I plan to go back to a similar style-- I think my work will have changed a bit due to the "recess"... but hopefully it will be in a good way :)

((hugs)) to you my fellow artist and thank you for stopping by my blog!