Crow's feet, laughlines, brow furrows — one man's flaw is another man's muse.
Inspired by the stories hidden beneath people's hard-earned wrinkles, artist Guido del Carpio explores the human face in "Lines of Life," an exhibit of 22 colorful paintings that will open this Saturday as part of the FAT Village Art Walk in Fort Lauderdale.
"Each face has its own story, happy moments and dramatic moments in each one," Del Carpio, 60, says. "[The face] has endless possibilities. I've seen it in my mother's wrinkles, some created by happiness, and others by sadness. Or even a small boy who smiles, and instantly you can see the two lines on the sides of his mouth."
The exhibit will be Del Carpio's debut at the monthly event, which returns after taking a break in December. It coincides with the 10th anniversary of Helium Creative, the design agency and gallery that will host the exhibit.
"We thought it would be the perfect opportunity to bring him in," says Ryan Sirois, Helium Creative's art director, adding that the paintings will also be displayed during an anniversary fundraiser at the gallery on Friday. "We really wanted to showcase his work because we find it inspiring."
The gallerist had been wanting to display Del Carpio's paintings for almost a year. "He's a really energetic and passionate guy who loves what he does, and that's very infectious," Sirois says.
Del Carpio started drawing as a boy in his native Peru, sometimes earning a school lunch or an empanada by making art for classmates. As a teenager, he left his hometown of Arequipa to embark on a quest that would take him to some of the world's big cities. "I left home when I was 16 and went to Lima, looking for a job. I ended up as the youngest cartoonist at the [Peruvian newspaper] Diario Expreso," he recalls.
Del Carpio explored the art scenes in Paris, Barcelona, Madrid and London. He took classes in art schools in Mexico City — including La Esmeralda, where Frida Kahlo once taught — and ended up as head designer at Diario la Prensa, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in New York.
After the birth of his children nearly 15 years ago, Del Carpio left the Big Apple and moved to Tamarac with his wife. "I wanted to dedicate my life to painting, and New York is too expensive for that," he says.
Del Carpio now takes jobs as a handyman, house painter and muralist. In his free time, he reads poetry and paints in his back yard.
"Poetry is fundamental in my works," he says. "If the artist is connected to poetry, whatever he creates with his hands is also poetry."
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Lines of Life
When: Opens Saturday, Jan. 25, during the FAT Village Art Walk
Where: Helium Creative, 500 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Contact: 954-333-8900 or HeliumCreative.com