My Dear Artists 3 – Octavio Arizmendi

Octavio is one of those totally involved hardcore mathematicians, with whom the first handshakes are always heavy with the weariness of having to touch a super intelligent alien from the ultra whateveritis galaxy. A PhD. student in Saarland, Octavio is on the verge of submitting his thesis within an obscenely short time period of two years since he began.

He is from Mexico, inheriting a brain full of complicated logic, coming from a family of lawyers. And he intends to learn German by watching German movie every Tuesday evening, without understanding ninety eight percent of the dialogue. But then the ways of super intelligent aliens are bound to vary from the common.

Within a few days I came to know that he was a footballer, and a painter too – thanks to Moritz Weber, a disciple painter under Octavio, working in the same department in the university. And while Octavio’s work in mathematics often brushed past my skull, without leaving a trace of understanding, I was much engrossed by the vibes of the tiny paintings of dark silhouetted buildings against yellow evening sky, made by him as a gift to Moritz. I was curious to see more. It was an ideal opportunity once John and I were invited by Octavio, Carlos and Barbara to visit their sixth floor apartment over an excellent Mexican dinner with chicken cooked in orange juice by Carlos, yoghurt pelted with apples by Barbara and red wine.

cuadro domino

The above is one of my favourites of his. I am worse than a novice when it comes to water colour, but it is not just because of his skill; what attracts me most in this, is the impression of a conversation that just came to a halt as I intruded in it. Once it feels like it was just a mellow correspondence, the next moment – an intense plot…


I wish I had a copy of better resolution of the above painting. If he had told me that he really saw a rhino pushing a dead tree with his horn in a silent marshland, I would have believed him. But then if he had said that he saw in his dream an mountainside river with evening looming in, and later copied a rhino out of a children’s book of animals just to decorate, I would have believed him too. Point is, it did not matter, the effect was overwhelming…


Tormenta (turmoil) was another of my favourite. I come from a city deeply connected to a river. Even though the river is now rather a dirty joke, I had seen the pillars of faraway rain (although not cyclones) slowly taking over our small steamer in a powerful whoosh, more than once. Moreover his painting had a journey, a story in it – a quality that I cherish most in any form of art.

I was hawking on his painting of Don Quixote, of a fool in chainmails, in a deep violet background of starry dreams. I had simply fallen in love with that one. Recently I came to find an online copy –


Anyone who wishes to see more of his brilliant work should befriend him in Facebook, since he does not have (and possibly and sort of unfortunately does not care for) a website or blog of his own. And I will guarantee you will not be disappointed.

I must mention one last, and quite intense painting by Octavio that I saw while on the make and liked a lot – and found it later in his facebook page –

If I have to name a contemporary multitalented genius that I personally know, I will seriously consider Octavio’s name. There might be a little bias since he carried my fifty kilogram of luggage from his high-rise apartment to the main road (and Carlos too – that was the way up, the previous day) at four-o-clock in the morning after a night of drinking till one! Had they not, I might not have had all my shoulder muscles intact, to be fit enough to type as much.


6 thoughts on “My Dear Artists 3 – Octavio Arizmendi

      • I dabble. You can see what I do on Art history is my passion, but I also believe you understand it much better when you also participate in the process. And it stops you from saying “I could do that.” Because, well, you probably can’t.

  1. Amazing. I knew Octavio during his Paris days. We used to play ping-pong often. I remember him mentioning about his painting skills but didn’t know he was quite good at it.

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