PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston May 2022

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Loera explores this idea of solitude in one of his recent works, a large painting of a frog on a lily pad, captured in ink on raw, unstretched canvas. "The frog is on his own little island, and I feel that way sometimes — everyone does," he says. The pandemic has pushed him to reflect inward, to probe ideas of "space in relation to where I am, or where other people are, and examining that." The painting hangs over his bed, the canvas edges rippling like rumpled sheets. "I go home to my bed alone, and it's a visual representation of that," he says. But the frog is also a magical, mysterious creature, with smoke coming out of its mouth. "We don't really know what he is, what he's doing, if he's happy, if he's sad. Maybe he's just releasing whatever it is that I'm feeling, right?" Loera's drawings and paintings are dreamlike forms that tap his subconscious. One of his favorite is an ink on paper depicting entwined arms and moons swirling in the night sky. It's a recent work, one of many he's produced in an effort to focus on his own art beyond being an educator. The small picture, which hangs by itself on a wall in the entry, is the last thing he sees when he shuts the door in the morning and the first thing he sees when he comes home at night. It was painstakingly made with hundreds of tiny hatch marks. "The time it took to draw was laborious in the sense that you are repeating the lines over and over, but I love that. It's a reminder and a reflection of how long it takes for me to make time for myself." Loera's works share space in the house with works by Man Ray, Alex Katz, and David Hockney, along with pottery by Chris Brock and pre- Columbian artifacts. "I enjoy making beautiful things," he says. "And I also have a collection of different things that are beautiful; they bring a confidence and joy that's necessary to have at home." Loera's good friend, designer Garrett Hunter, pulled the interiors together with pedigreed furnishings sourced through auctions and Tienda X, an experimental showroom that Hunter and architect Michael blue piping. The color references a custom blue-topped dining table glimpsed in the next room, which is surrounded with chairs by mid- century Danish designer Poul Kjærholm. Over the table is a striking paper lantern that Loera hand- painted with Texas wildflowers, a prototype for a Noguchi lamp he painted for a client. There are also some wonderfully offbeat moments, such as Mario Bellini's 1970s-era red and black cube tables and seating, grouped together in the center of the living room like an art installation or a child's building blocks. The white- vinyl modular seating in the sitting Landrum founded in Houston in 2016. A couple of years ago they moved Tienda X to Los Angeles, where they have a roster of clients. "This was an exercise in curation of art and objet d'art," Hunter says of Loera's house. "My friend Ronnie Sassoon recently said to me, 'I do not decorate, I install,' and it resonated, as I feel like this was the approach to Jaime's house." In the living room, the parchment daybed by early-20th-century French furniture designer Jean-Michel Frank is Fulang Chang's favorite perch, so it's upholstered in dog-proof velvet performance fabric with charming Opposite page, from top: The living room's rare parchment daybed is by Jean- Michel Frank, circa 1920s or '30s, from Tienda X. Pillow is Clarence House silk. Artwork Mahew Stone, The Hole, NYC. On mantel, pre-Columbian figurative sculpture. In the living room, an antique screen and beaded African Yoruba throne chair, both from Tienda X. Sofa is by Castello Lagravinese Studio, from Tienda X. Lamp from Kay O'Toole Antiques & Eccentricities. Painting by Danish artist Kasper Sonne from The Hole, NYC. Below: Painting Jaime Loera. Antique African Senufo stool.

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