The summer is a very busy time for artist Mario Godinez who is currently working on a long thought about project based on the popular Mexican game of  La Loteria.  “This is the time I have to create my work, because I do not have the kids to focus on,” said Mario who is a dedicated art teacher at Roma High School.

The Loteria project has been in Mario’s mind for some time, but other projects such as painting tattoos kept Mario from starting it last summer.

Mario tells me he starts with a 9 x 12 sketch drawn with ink, which once finished it is scanned and painted with Photoshop.  The final result is 8 x 10 and 4 x 6 prints. At first, Mario said he planned to paint each one with water colors, but because there are 54 cards in the Loteria, he decided to sketch them first. Once he finishes the complete series, he will start painting them. “This is going to be an ongoing project, but I am looking forward to completing it soon,” said Mario.

In the past four weeks, Mario has completed ten sketches, and has finished painting five. He plans on completing ten every two months. For inspiration for La Dama (the lady) card number three, Mario chose Mexican golden cinema diva: Maria Felix. Cantinflas was chosen for El Catrin (the dandy) and Tintan, a famous Mexican comedian also from the 1950s, was Mario’s choice for El Diablito (little devil.)

“I’ve always liked to attract attention to my work, which is a combination of pop culture and surrealism,” stated Mario adding that he believes surrealism gives him the freedom to feature these pop culture icons in his own personal style.  It also allows the viewer to come up with their own interpretations according to Mario who chose this popular cultural game as his inspiration because he knows most people identify its characters.

“The famous characters I’ve chosen are still evolving. I plan to change some, as I notice they even change when I start painting them,” he explained.

Mario was part of the artist roster during Jardin del Arte in Edinburg, Texas, this past Friday July 12, 2013, where he said his work was well received, and he sold quite a few of his newly created prints. Mario loves to entertain the viewer with his work and a style that certainly attracts the attention he craves.  But most importantly is that all of Mario’s work is a reflection of his personality. They’re his unique creation.

I asked Mario if he could do a commission piece for anybody who desired a personalized version of the La Dama o El Catrin, or of any other Loteria character, and he said yes!  I am actually thinking about it.

All 8 x 10 and 4 x 6 prints are available for sale at an extremely affordable price. For details, please look for Mario Godinez on Facebook, or call him at (956) 466-3881.

Artist Mario Godinez