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Oakland Press: California Artist Weaves Faith Into Acclaimed Works

On Alumnus and Faculty Member Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia
Kimberly Winston

Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia had a full scholarship to study engineering and was more than halfway to his degree when he took an art class.

It changed his life.

Today, Hurtado Segovia, 38, is a much-admired contemporary artist who lives, works and shows in this city, which has become ground zero for much of American contemporary art. He is fresh off a critically acclaimed solo show that one reviewer called “deftly crafted, quirky, spiritual, private and timeless.”

He is also Christian, something that frequently makes its way into his work in ways both open and veiled. And while the contemporary art world often dismisses religious subjects — especially if they’re not critical — faith is both a touchstone and wellspring for almost all of his abstract works in wood, fiber, paper, paint and even sand and tar.

For Hurtado Segovia, Christianity is woven into his Mesoamerican identity, evident in his use of handicrafts such as embroidery and beads.

“I am convinced art is my vocation, my passion, my calling, a deep part of my being,” he said recently from the sunny living room of the second-floor apartment that he shares with his wife, two children and his studio. “My faith in Jesus filters how I understand the world and the art I make that goes out into the world is therefore a seamless entity as a practice.”

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Image: Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia: Vida, pasión y muerte, installation view, courtesy of CB1Gallery