Sergio Bustamante has become so familiar for some of his trademark elements – sun and moon motifs and fantasy figures with evocatively shaped, triangular faces – that he's now among Mexico’s most easily recognizable artists.
And over the course of a nearly half-century career, his idiosyncratic style has translated to widespread acclaim, earning commissions for important works of public art and galleries on three continents.
Galería Sergio Bustamante in Cabo San Lucas is a particularly popular stop for cruise ship passengers and visiting U.S. and Canadian art-lovers, providing a scenically set showcase – the gallery is located at the marina-based Puerto Paraíso shopping center – for imaginative works that once found form in colorful paintings and papier-mâché, but are now primarily expressed in ceramics, wood and bronze sculpture, silver and gold jewelry and even handbags.
Sergio Bustamante's art imbues reality with a sense of the fantastic — Photo courtesy of Galería Sergio Bustamante
But the Land’s End city is just the latest in a long line of beautiful Mexican locales that have become closely associated with the artist’s legend. First there was Culiacán, where he was born; then Guadalajara, where he studied architecture; Tlaquepaque, which was home to his first gallery; and Puerto Vallarta, whose malecón is graced with perhaps his greatest creation – the magical bronze sculpture En Busca de la Razón (In Search of Reason).
In Search of Reason is a rather ironic title, by the way. Bustamante’s figures – whether sun gods, robed magicians or sphinx-like lions – are creatures of fantasy, beyond time and beyond reason. Perhaps that’s a clue as to why the artist now has galleries around the world.
The landscape of childhood imagination, which Bustamante often claims as the source of his inspiration, transcends borders and boundaries and imbues any setting with a touch of magic.
In the aforementioned In Search of Reason, a shadowy figure seems to utter incantations as two others climb a ladder that leads to . . . wherever one would like to imagine, depending on their age, mood or the majesty of the sunset.
Reproductions of some of Bustamante’s most notable works of public art, from En Busca de la Razón to La Reflexión, a signature stylized bronze bust in Tlaquepaque, can be found in his latest collections of art and jewelry, along with myriad other aesthetic treasures.
For a guided introduction to the artist and his work, visit the Cabo San Lucas gallery at Puerto Paraíso, which is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.