The art hanging on the walls of Panama Red this week is distractingly beautiful. From the portrait of Bob Dylan to a polka-dotted optical illusion, each warrants a double-take.
But if you're checking out the price tags, one in particular might cause you to pause and ponder. Most of the paintings are priced at a few hundred dollars, but "Downtown at Night," hanging above the comfy brown chairs in the cove with the bookshelf, is advertised at $10,000. The picture is a celebration of reds and yellows, transcending the canvas to wash the room in the merry evening glow of Todos Santos Plaza.
Artist Martin Segobia, a Pleasant Hill resident who attended Diablo Valley College and is now at San Francisco State, said that "Downtown at Night" is one of his wife's favorites — so she set the price for the piece.
"I thought it would be cool to include ["Downtown at Night"] in the show because it actually has part of Panama Red in it," said Segobia in an email to Patch.
This has been a "pretty cool" year for Segobia, he says. He turned 30, became a dad, and held his first solo show. The artist first found his creative spark reading comic books in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he was born and raised. He migrated to the US in 2000 and worked as a day laborer, among other jobs, where he says he was "face with the reality of being an immigrant in the United States," where he is "supposed to be using a shovel and not a brush in order to make a living."
Encouraged by his wife and friends, Segobia started taking art classes at Diablo Valley College, and last year, he was accepted to SF State where he is training to become a professional artist.
"I'm not sure when I started doing art," said Segobia, "but quoting my idol Vik Muniz: 'I remember when everybody else stopped.' I always did doodles here and there, but only in the last two or three years I started taking it more seriously."
Segobia says he is glad for any interest in local art, as he feels "there's a lack of attention to art nowadays, especially and small communities like ours."
What do you think of Segobia's paintings? Share your reaction in the comments.