Creation Date



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acrylic paint, oil paint, and ink on fabric


Detail of father image (left panel)

Artist Statement

Recently, I have begun to think about how as we age our perception of our parents change: for myself, I have thought specifically about the change in the son to father perception. My father passed away at the age of twenty-three, and being five years old at the time I was left with that child’s memory of him; an experience I share with him, as he also had his dad pass away at a young age. Having been a child when I knew him, I am left with an everlasting ideal memory of him. Contrarily, my grandfather from my mother’s side I have known as an adult, and have experienced his flaws and imperfections, as well as having acknowledged differences. Therefore I am left with vastly different understandings of these two father figures.

The subjects in the work are of my father and of my grandfather. Each was rendered completely from memory, using no references, which allowed me to rely completely on my recollection of their appearances. The painting on the left is of my grandfather, and of the history and feelings attached to him. Similarly, the painting on the right, of my father, has a history and feeling attached to it, however; the ideas attached to my father are much more rooted in that innocent child’s memory, rather than the adult perceptions shown towards my grandfather.

My intention in creating this work was to draw on the parallels, and differences, of how memory was functioning between these two father figures; and furthermore, how that memory can help me understand my own existence. Using my memories of the two most influential men in my life, these paintings represent my attempt to understand my existence. Through their guidance I try to understand ideas such as: religion, wisdom, masculinity, vice, and virtue.


© Julio Cesar Cantu, 2014.


religion in visual art, masculinity in visual art, oil painting, memory in visual art, mixed media, diptych