Friday, July 24, 2015

Abraham Angel

Portrait of Hugo Tilghman (The Tennis Player)
oil on cardboard
136.0 x 120.0 cm
Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico City, Mexico

Abraham Angel Card Valdes (1905-1924), born in El Oro, was a Mexican artist known under his first names Abraham Angel. His scarce works, numbering around 30 known paintings, are highly appreciated and valued by museums and art collectors.

He was born in El Oro, State of Mexico, being the youngest of five. His father Lewis was a Welsh miner and adventurer, who travelled continuously throughout the country in search of fortune in gold and silver mines. His mother was from Mexico. At just 14, she formed a family with Lewis but Lewis left a few years later, rarely seeing the family again. An older brother became head of the family.

At age 16, he decided to attend art and painting studies at Academia de San Carlos, but the decision met with absolute opposition from his older brother. He refused to comply, so he ended up being expelled from his home, to the astonishment and sadness of his mother and sister. He dropped his surnames after his older brother expelled him from his family home when he was barely 16.

In that difficult moment, in 1921, he had an intense homosexual affair with his tutor who gave lessons in drawing. A couple of years later, his tutor chose another young artist as his protege, and abandoned him. Humiliated and depressed, he was found dead from a lethal cocaine injection in 1924.