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Sunday, August 17, 2014


Elias Telles

August 2-30, 2014

The Good Luck Gallery
945 Chung King Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90012


Elias Telles proudly represents himself as an American whose family has been here since 1795.  He served his country as a Marine in the Vietnam War.  As a daughter of a WWII veteran, I understand the pride of fighting for your country and the importance of patriotism by the young men we send off to war away from the warmth of their loved ones.  Telles continues to express his love for America and the diversity that keeps our country in constant flux and growth through his artwork.  

Telles has only been painting for a little more than ten years.  He said he woke up one morning and wanted to start painting. He was fortunate to listen to his epiphany.  His work has a naive style, but his autobiographical messages are considerate of his family members, teachers, historical figures, politics, and interpretations of his dreams.  He said his mother and his teachers where the people who most inspired him in his life.  At the gallery, during our interview, he showed me a painting that was dedicated to his high school literature teacher Miss Cartmel.  She introduced him to theater by taking his class to see The Glass Menagerie. The value of this creative experience continues to work its magic on Telles.  Miss Cartmel is portrayed as a "school marm" from the late nineteenth century.  Like many of his paintings- time is a state of mind.  One of the healing properties of his art is that he can time travel on a paint soaked paintbrush and give his lifelong connections a memorable audience.

 I was curious about how he survived Vietnam.  He said that he didn't think about it that much anymore.    However, "once a Marine always a Marine".  His creative surge is a partner in  keeping him grounded.  Telles at times has fearful dreams that are centered around turbulent bodies of water.  In Self-Portrait he portrays himself as a thumbnail image in a red shirt standing precariously on a sand bar.  His courage and tenacity are powerful against the ominous viridian  sea and tempestuously choreographed waves. Even though he is a speck in the middle of the sea, he stands upright and redefines the importance and value of each individual.  Telles' bravery as a young Marine is now exemplified in his paintings.

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