'Each painting is an adventure' for Albuquerque artist David Zaintz - Albuquerque Journal

‘Each painting is an adventure’ for Albuquerque artist David Zaintz

New Mexico native David Zaintz’s “End of the Journey” is among his works being shown at the “Abstract Show” at Sumner & Dene in Downtown Albuquerque. (Courtesy of Max Woltman)

Albuquerque native David Zaintz uses his hands to tell a story within his art.

Over the course of his career as an artist, Zaintz has evolved.

The latest theme to pop into his work is railroad tracks.

“In an effort to further explore the theme of journeys, I chose to include railroad tracks in all of my new paintings for this upcoming show,” he says. “Each painting is an adventure for me as well, begun without knowing what my destination will be. Each layer builds a portion of a story as it evolves, and colors get mixed and blended as they’re added.”

Zaintz is showing his works alongside those of Jeannie Sellmer and Reg Loving at the “Abstract Show” at Sumner & Dene in Downtown Albuquerque. The show runs through Nov. 27.

Zaintz has been with the gallery for over six years, and his latest collection of paintings features abstract landscapes in various styles.

Because of his interest in interior design, he often thinks about how the shapes, proportions and bold colors in his paintings can complement architectural features – such as earth-tone adobe or Venetian plaster walls found in many Southwestern homes.

“In 2017, I painted a landscape for a solo show I’d had,” he says. “One of the features of the piece was a very abstract reference to a railroad track, which influenced its title, ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ (also the name of a Beatles song,) as well as the exhibit’s title, ‘Journeys.’ ”

Zaintz says the empty railroad tracks are memories from his past.

“The addition of a horizontal element suggests not only a landscape, but also the empty railroad tracks stretching across it,” he says. “These tracks recall feelings I’d had during the train travels from my childhood. As a passenger, sitting quietly and still, I’d watch the passing landscape beyond the window, letting it sink in, wondering where this ride would take me. I still do, and I hope that I can also inspire viewers to imagine their own journeys in time and place.”

As Zaintz continues to work with his art, here are a few things you probably didn’t know about him:

1 ”I had the honor of making it into the local paper at the age of 13, when I was bar mitzvahed, signifying a boy’s becoming a man within the Jewish faith. We didn’t have our own temple in Rio Rancho back then (1976), so we’d rented out the local country club. I couldn’t read Hebrew well, so I was trained to memorize all the Scripture, which was transliterated for me by my tutor, Herbert Lamb.”

2 “The local Jewish community played a large part in my childhood. I don’t consider myself all that religious now, but I do respect my family roots. In my youth, living on my own, I did want to have a menorah to light up in the celebration of Hanukkah. I found that there were many choices out there design-wise. Some are quite beautiful, and others are clever. That started my interest in collecting them. I have acquired quite a large collection, close to 100.”

3 “I have a long history with music, especially pop, club and dance music, as my family owned a few businesses while I was growing up. We had an under-21 dance club I worked at in the ’70s, which made me appreciate disco music. It was called the Boogie Man. We then had a roller rink called the Skate Ranch, while I was in high school. In the ’80s, it eventually became a dance club many might remember as the Big Apple. I started my DJ career there.”

4 “I’m the youngest of four boys. As a child, I hated that my three older brothers were all taller than me. When I’d complain to my mother, she would tell me not to worry, I will surpass them all eventually. I don’t know if it was wishful thinking, but that is precisely what happened! She claimed that it had to do with my being born a month premature and being an ‘incubator baby.’ I couldn’t say, but it happened. Most people want to be taller. I do appreciate my height at 6-foot-6, but I have never been comfortable with it.”

5 “I am a painter currently represented by Sumner & Dene Gallery in Downtown Albuquerque. I paint in various abstract styles. Occasionally, I like to incorporate aspects of my past into my work.”

Editor’s note: Venue Plus continues “In Case You Didn’t Know,” a weekly feature with fun tidbits about New Mexicans and their projects.


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