Local Talent

August 19, 2011

Modern Day Icons

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Written by: Nydia O Tapia - Gonzales
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Gaby and Mario

Once you meet Mario Godinez and Gaby Gonzalez you realize they have something special, an “aura” of creativity and sensitivity seems to flow around them.

Gaby first laid eyes on Mario during a ceramics class at the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, “it was love at first sight, I knew he wasn’t a player, I was attracted by his talent” Gaby said. When I asked Mario what attracted him to Gaby, Gaby rushed to his side while Mario was still thinking about his answer and jokingly said “witchcraft”. Mario then answered looking lovingly at Gaby “I was attracted by her talent too”, but his mischievous smile said much more to me.

Mario Godinez

Mario Godinez

Music, people, art and life itself inspire Mario, “It is awesome to feel alive, that I can enjoy everything art has to offer, that is why I paint shoes, do sculpture and now I’m even experimenting with painting tattoos.” said Mario. Gaby is inspired by pretty people, people with an attitude and strong character and tender side, people who call things by what they are and her paintings sure portray that.

Gaby started painting in High School and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with an all level certification, Mario loved to draw and color since he was a child, later his wish was to pursue digital photography and graphic design until experimenting with sculpture and ceramics in college, that changed everything.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and now both of them teach at Roma High School and are already producing students who successfully participate in local art exhibitions. They both love to teach young students, to inspire them to succeed and influence them to be the best artists they can be.

Gaby and Mario have been married for two years, their work is hard to forget, strong and powerful yet sensitive. Recently, during the Art Walk in Harlingen, Texas, I observed while Mario painted surrounded by several friends and spectators, he kept them all entertained with  his conversation while at the same time painting an unusual representation of Al Pacino’s Scar Face character.  Gaby, sitting next to him was also painting and conversing in her own bohemian way, with the same magnetic personality as Mario. I would certainly call them a modern day Frida and Diego, artistically speaking, of course.

Seeing Mario paint, moved by a strong inspiration, reminded me reading about Diego Rivera doing the same, Diego once said that he was not only an artist, he was a man carrying out his biological function of producing paints, in the same way a tree produces flowers and fruit.

Frida Kahlo had a strong admiration for Diego, just like Gaby has for Mario, both were first attracted by talent. It is said that as soon as Frida had a chance, she headed out to see Diego while he painted his murals at Mexico’s Secretaria de Educacion building. She wanted him to see her paintings and tell her if they held any value. He asked her to go back home and paint another one and he would evaluate it, eventually, Diego ruled that Frida had talent.

Diego loved Frida’s frankness, her strange mixture of  freshness and sensuality attracted him.

Gaby Glez

Gaby Glez

I remembered the smile on Mario’s face when I asked him what attracted him about Gaby, and the way he was looking at her, I strongly believe his smile depicted those same exact feelings.

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About the Author

Nydia O Tapia - Gonzales
A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.-Maya Angelou. La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" life in the Rio Grande Valley. From this bi-cultural corner on the tip of Texas, I share my poems and spiritual and travel experiences. I also blog about the arts,nature and my passion for historic preservation and architecture. But most important, let's talk about "la vida" - living our lives - in a vacation state of mind. Contributions and comments are always welcome .




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One Comment


  1. jessica moreno

    its true what you wrote about my teachers, they are awsome, i have know them for 4 years already, this is my senior year and i always go to them to get advice or for help in difrent techniques for my artworks. It has been a pleasure to be there student, i will miss there energetic personality when i leave high schoool.



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