Mr. Gálvez’s figurative paintings and drawings read as the probable contents of a writer’s recycle bin, experimental passages of a grand epic or an intimate biography. A can of Tecate and wedge of lime, the facade of a liquor store, a potted houseplant, female nudes rendered in a pastiche of Modernist styles, Picasso’s subjects characterized and engaged in a game of mumbly-peg, death’s ominous ghostly outline. Willem de Kooning’s iconic “Woman” appears atop the pushcart of a paletero manically tossing paletas toward the viewer…a running narrative of unlikely encounters of the ubiquitous, the absurd, the magical.

Mr. Gálvez was born in Jiquilpan, Michoacán, Mexico arriving in the United States at the age of four. At the age of 10, he encountered the work of Pablo Picasso, a moment of epiphany shared by most artists, that queasy encounter when one first concedes to one’s destiny whether it’s desired or not. Indeed, he states “painting for me is like a slug’s trail, it comes out of me whether I want it or not.”

Perhaps only a mind formed by the experience of a migrant and destined to be a painter could imbue the image of de Kooning’s “Woman” with the inspirational symbolism invoked by the Statue of Liberty. Gálvez notes, “de Kooning is an immigrant. He got on a boat, left his homeland, came to the United States and became de Kooning… the definition of the American dream. Like de Kooning, I came to the states, not in a ship, but in the back of my uncle’s 1985 red Trans Am with a huge f*cking eagle on the hood. That image is ingrained in my brain. It’s the definition of freedom… thinking about it, he later crashed it into a tree during a really icy winter’s day.”

Mr. Gálvez’s paintings present a complex confluence of narratives, simultaneously rooted in observation and biography, the mundane and deeply personal, the “lost in translation” absurdities of cultural conflict. They present an almost literary fiction that includes the wrenching history of modernist painting as a major protagonist. In the tradition of Latin-American literature, Mr. Gálvez observes that his work is “…more conspiracy than fact. Just because it’s made up or fake doesn’t mean it’s not real.”

Written by John Sobczak - Director at The Alice Wilds

Photographed by Tyler Jones

Photographed by Tyler Jones



Ni Modo, The Alice Wilds, Milwaukee, WI

Di de los Muertos Exhibition, Walkers Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee, WI


Prologue, The Alice Wilds, Milwaukee, WI


What’s The Story?, Rare Gallery, New York, NY

A Painter, Photographer & Printmaker, Dean Jensen Gallery, Milwaukee, WI


Tucked Behind The Belt, Max Fish, New York, NY

A Dozen or Something Twenty-Somethings. Dean Jensen Gallery, Milwaukee, WI

One Hit Wonders, Jackpot Gallery, Milwaukee, WI

Kitchen Sink, Jackpot Gallery, Milwaukee, WI