Artist Spotlight... Caliche & Pao - The Yin, The Yang, and the Art

May 02, 2017
A long time ago, when I was young and trusted people, someone very wise told me that the key to a happy life is finding balance. Well, I took him literally and started my failed career as a ballet dancer. However, the older I get the more I think that finding your yin can be the best thing you can do for your yang. Royal Street has a yin and a yang that are the perfect visual balance in a decadent color explosion.

The husband and wife team at Calche and Pao gallery, located at 312 Royal Street, define team work and have the digs to prove it. The gallery is bursting with succulent colors that flutter around you like dancing angels when you walk into the wall to wall celebration of the French Quarter. Dancing light posts merge with the rhythm of the flexing and bending architecture. New Orleans homes not only take on a life of their own, but are consummately balanced in composition so that it is almost difficult to tell which member of the husband wife team painted the painting you love. Caliche trade mark lamp posts make cameos in Pao’s architectonic French Quarter buildings. Distinguishing the two from one another isn’t necessary because the beauty is that you don’t have to. You are experiencing two separate points of view painted in two very different styles that come together so seamlessly and literally become one. The real beauty of the counterbalance is that color and texture play such a big part in their creations; it is hopeless to choose a more important factor there. While texture allows us a chance to walk right into any of the paintings, it is the colors that are inviting us in with one burst at time.

“French Quarter Stroll” 48x60, is a classic example of Pao’s ability to take the real lines of existing architecture and turn them into strands of color laid next to each other to create a form. A more cogent brush stroke from sidewalk to sky has our eyes traveling up past the door transoms and wrought iron balconies, off into the cool blue sky. While these buildings lack the obvious motility of Caliche’s “Around the Corner (Purple) 36x48, they seem to move almost in line. Strong lines, firmly planted colors, and structure play a direct compliment to Caliche’s buildings. His creations bend from the ground in ways that would seem unnatural to anyone that wasn’t from the Big Easy.

The gallery accents an already fantastic slice of Royal Street and lays dead center to all that the 300 block has to offer. Stop by the gallery, open daily from 10am to 6pm, and then take a quick walk through its sister gallery, Lazano and Barbuti, located across the street at 313 Royal Street. This gallery serves as a balancing act for Caliche and Pao. It offers paintings, sculptures, as well as limited edition giclees. Also seen in Bogata Columbia, artist Rene Ortiz Ruiz paints musical instruments and bicycles with a light wisp stroke that transforms a simple bicycle into a lightly textured, elongated work of art. Also holding impressive real-estate are the equine portraits of artist Villa. Hyper realistic horse portraits capture every detail, including the personality of said steed, and does so in a diversity of forms and mediums.

Caliche and Pao, have definitely found the yin to their yang, and the art world is better for it.

Balance, harmony, and synergy. These two never had to take a ballet class, now that’s teamwork!

Visit Caliche and Pao Gallery on the web @
Visit Lazano Barbuti at