I met Jorge years ago, at a live music spot that used to be in Santa Monica, called Temple Bar. I was there, with a tiny sketchbook and watercolor set, doing some sketches, waiting for the main act to go on. He was shooting pool with a friend, waiting for the main act as well. He started a conversation with me, talking about music and art and how I should really come check out his art some time. A few weeks later, I dropped by his home in Burbank. He pulled out a treasure trove of incredible art. He knew it was great. Everyone told him it was great, but there was something in him, that kept the work stowed away under his bed. He’d share his work. He was generous. His mother Catalina is one of the warmest and most fun loving people I have met. She has a sense of style and a love of life.
With Jorge, there was music and there was making art. I would happen to run into him at music shows now and then. We would catch up a bit. He would share all kinds of music from his treasured collection. He had albums of photos with intricate cut paper bulletin boards for the kids at a center he worked at. He created pieces inspired by his favorite music, or a beautiful muse or some custom painted shoes for a friend’s young child, or some letters for a beautiful woman he was crushing on.
He was jubilant and endless in his love of music and the respect he had for musicians and artists. He would flit back and forth from sharing his work with pride, to regressing and shuttering it away. It took years of convincing from myself and others unknown to me to get him to show some pieces online. He put up a blog, and eventually a facebook page or two. Then he would tear it all down, disappear and be out of communication.
So many of us coaxed for him to bring that larger than life personality out through his art, into the world. He resisted, but then he would do a little. He showed a piece at Cannibal Flower, a local art show which he greatly respected. He gave his art to musicians he admired. He created a beautiful portrait of Kristeen and I for our wedding. As time went on, he and his mother welcomed my wife and I into their home, for wonderful meals. We collaborated on some beautiful pieces for a gallery show. He always supported his friends and causes that he believed in. He respected the good that my wife Kristeen was doing with her project rHope and immediately started creating huge banners for us, hand made from cut paper. He would place each element whether with paper and glue or sharpies and watercolors in just the right place. His shapes, lines and colors formed impossible and beautiful intersections and layers of meaning. At times he made it look effortless, but it was a mind and hand that had been honed on creating intricate masterpieces.
He supported causes like the Kidney Walk and Grand Performances. No matter how he was doing, he was always encouraging of my art. Not many who saw him jubilant at music shows would know how many challenges he faced. He passed into peace yesterday. He left the body of work of a brilliant artist, and snippets that never gave away the real story. May he rest now, without pains physical or mental. May his mistakes be forgiven and his love be appreciated. May his sweet mother Catalina, know the love of all his friends for her, just as she loves him and all of us. Thank you for the gifts you shared Tyme. Eye will miss you, but I know that you are in a better place.