Dino D’ Taos, The Anonymous Monk

Dino D’ Taos is an outsider artist who lived in Taos, New Mexico from 1998 to 2006. Dino’s enchantment with the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali motivated him to become a self taught artist and Dali Disciple. Dino believed Salvador Dali’s method of objectifying the psychic forces of the unconsciousness offered viewers a new scripture to understanding reality. The foundation of Dino’s work relied on continuing Dali’s message to help expand a new art testament in a post Dalian world. In company with the cosmic themes deposited in Dali’s book 50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship, Dino’s paintings resume Dali’s inquiry into occult subjects like alchemy, astrology and Pythagorean narratives.

From a personal perspective I get a powerful impression from his paintings that somehow part of Dino’s memory retained insights from the Elysian Mysteries in some former life. With Dino’s paintings there is a resurrection of an earlier bicameral state that explores space with lines, geometric shapes and paronomasia. This seems to fuse the hemispheres of the mind for a moment as Dali alludes to and calls “Pythagorean instantaneousness” which can be found in his painting, The Sacrament of the Last Supper.

Dali taught Dino that perspective played a key role in the surrealistic method. This magic was practiced by putting the viewer into an optical trance that was intended to trigger neural pathways. I’ll mention it briefly that Dino experienced auditory visitations. This mediumship included a reception from the Dutch post-impressionist painter, Vincent van Gogh, which he openly talked about with my wife and me. Reference to Dino’s encounter with Van Gogh was channeled in a 48inx72in painting that can be found here on Vanessa Valencia’s page, a patroness and collector of Dino’s work.

I moved to Taos, New Mexico in 1997 a year before Dino. It wasn’t until 2000 I met Dino at the Cafe Tazza, a cool coffee house on Kit Carson Rd, which unfortunately no longer exists.

We both enjoyed strong coffee and became fast friends easily. Since we were both artists we had a lot to talk about. It wasn’t less than a few months the owner at Tazza provided a room where we hung our work. We both ended up selling work. Along the way Dino introduced me to my wife and from there the three of us would get together, have dinner, drink wine and smoked lots of flower.

The three of us would talk about art for hours and read each other’s tarot cards. There was always a steady flow of jazz in the background. It was a great time. A time without a computer overlooking our memories. These days bohemian and hippie are hashtags but back then we were organically experimenting with a bohemian and hippie lifestyle. I look back now on those carefree days as playing an integral part in my own development as an outsider artist.

Dino painted with acrylic on wood board he cut himself. He also made prints of his work. He had this cool trike with a little seahorse flag that he peddled around with. In the carrier he put his paintings and easel. You could find him comfortably painting in the Taos Historic District of the Taos Plaza. People would watch him paint and buy art from him.

Dino D’Taos was born on December 25 which made him a Capricorn who preferred the solitary life to an extroverted life. He was religiously dedicated to his work. He had some background experience in galleries but favored showing work at coffee house’s because he believed everyone buys a cup of coffee. In retrospect Dino and I shared the similar belief that coffee culture was a more authentic and less institutionalized avenue for showing art.

My wife and I own a few paintings. We also have some of Dino’s writings which remind me of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. I have no idea where Dino is now or how he is. I treasured the friendship dearly and regard Dino as a guide that helped mature the bond I have with my creative self. Even though I’m on my own path I regularly employ the methods of surrealism to enter the subconscious

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