One image is burned in Daniel Luna’s mind after hanging his latest show at the Westwood Food Cooperative. While he was on a ladder hanging a piece, he looked down and noticed Yuridia Bahena, our Re:Own Program Manager, pouring oranges from a box into the cart that holds our produce. Of our 30 minute conversation, at least 20 minutes were about how he dissected that scene over and over again.
He noticed the beautiful color of the oranges. Their exaggerated shape and roundness because of his perspective. The contrast between Yuridia’s dark hair and brightness of the oranges. How the bright oranges rolled, nay, flowed out of the box into the teal cart.
Daniel said bought at least twenty oranges after hanging the show.
Luna believes we are all cosmically entangled. Take the orange for example; he ate an orange that morning before our chat, he said he was reading a book about Quantum Entanglement, and the act of telling me about the orange now connects us. And yes, I had to buy a couple oranges myself at the Westwood Food Co-Op, and perhaps it was because of our conversation, but they were delicious.
Daniel Luna was born in Pueblo and moved to Denver in 1972. His father, Daniel Luna Sr. was a 2x state champion tennis player and in fact, the first Chicano to be put in the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame. His mother, Jessica Luna, was an artist and teacher. Daniel talks about growing up in a strict household, with equal emphasis placed on academics, sports and art. Eventually, art prevailed. He found college boring and unchallenging and dropped out and traveled the country, paying his way by painting portraits and scenery and selling them. Eventually, Daniel found himself deeply embedded in the San Francisco scene, and drugs and alcohol. It wasn’t until his doctor told him he either had to stop, or die, that Daniel decided to stop and come back home. He’s been sober for 30 years now.
He says his paintings are all about paying attention. Had he not been present in the moment, he would have missed the oranges being poured in the crate. Had he not been so observant of the colors and textures of the walls at the Food Co-Op, his show would have looked different.
When I asked about how he felt about essentially hanging an art show in a grocery store, he lit up. Again, it’s all about paying attention. He came to our space twice, and silently observed as I nervously chatted about the renovations and plans for the space. I had no idea his brain was processing and processing. There are approximately 37 art pieces and 54 of his signature painted pots in this show, and I was shocked to learn most had been painted just for our space and this particular occasion.
“When I was there, I saw everyone buying food and the space coming together as you moved. So, a lot of the paintings were painted to show what I felt about these experiences. It was inspiring to see so many groups of people meeting and gathering in your space - and all the other nuts and bolts of people coming together.”
Daniel says that his mother spoke a lot about balance and harmony in the interest of letting people become the best possible version of themselves. She was integral in the beginning of the Children’s Museum and Mi Casa Resource Center. Because of her influence, he notes that, “You can balance the scales with the integrity of doing the harmonious work, and that is what you are doing at Re:Vision and with the Westwood Food Co-Op.”
We are thrilled to feature this special showcase for our Mother’s Day Garden Bazaar May 10, 11, & 12 in conjunction with BuCu West and the Westwood Creative District at the Westwood Food Cooperative from 9am - 3pm. Pots start as low as $8, and art pieces start as low as $40.