Museum of Ventura County - Magical Realism Paintings Of Nicaraguan National Treasure Omar d’León

This winter the Museum of Ventura County presents The Magical Realism of the Americans: The Art of Master Painter Omar d’León. Paintings by this internationally recognized artist, one of the most renowned Nicaraguan painters of the last 50 years, are on exhibition from December 11, 2009 through February 28, 2010. The exhibit includes several of d’León’s recent works which have never been shown. An artist’s reception open to the public is on Thursday, December 10, from 5:00-7:00 p.m., at the museum’s 89 S. California Street location in Ventura.

The artist is known for his light reflecting colors and surface textures, created by crosshatch scoring through pigment and wax sometimes more then 20 layers deep. The exhibition includes photographs of this process, as well as d’León’s tools and sketchbooks.

A Camarillo resident for more than 20 years, d’León experienced beauty and abundance as well as violence and loss in his native country. Studying at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Nicaragua, he combined an Impressionistic use of light and color with the magical realism traditions of Central America, which earned him critical acclaim at an early age.

In 1970 d’León founded Museo-Galeria 904, but Nicaragua’s massive earthquake of 1972 destroyed much of the museum, and many of d’León’s paintings were destroyed or looted. Several years later, he and his sister’s family were forced to flee after beatings and death threats from the Sandinistas. Despite being able to take only a few of his paintings with him, d’León has since created a new and prolific body of work. Today his pieces are in the collections of the Museum of Latin American Contemporary Art in Washington, D.C., the Ponce Museum of Art in Puerto Rico, the Chicago Art Institute, the Cuevas Museum in Mexico City, and the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California, among other collections.

The Museum of Ventura County is located at 89 S. California Street, open 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, with free admission to most events. For more information, go to or call 805-653-0323.