15)... As part of the updates and renovations to the Eldorado Hotel & Spa, Heritage Hotels & Resorts commissioned artist Randy Barton to create more than 75 new original paintings to add to the newly updated guestrooms. The new guest rooms are designed to reflect the pueblo revival style of the hotel with a color palette of shades of brown, grey and red. Custom artwork will be featured in each room. The original artwork in most of
the rooms is by Doug Coffin, curated by Elaine Horowitz gallery.
Randy Barton was selected by SWAIA to have a fellowship to create an artist guest room at Nativo Lodge.
"We were very inspired by the work Randy did for our Nativo Lodge Artist Rooms project and feel that his contemporary style that pays homage to his Native traditions will provide a unique perspective to our guests staying at the Eldorado hotel. We are honored to feature his original paintings in more than 75 of our newly renovated guest rooms."
- Adriana Long, Interior Designer at Heritage Hotels & Resorts
The artwork series titled “The Golden Songs” explores the dream of Eldorado, the “lost city of gold” where legend has it that throughout the 16th and 17th centuries men searched for this legendary city in hopes to get their hands on its intense wealth and riches. From South America to Central America and into the Southwest regions of the New World, they searched for countless hours but were never successful. It seemed that the location of the city mysteriously kept changing. It shifted geographical locations so often that finally it was simply known as an imagined source of untold riches som ewhere in the Americas. Thousands of lives were lost on the quest to find the city, and in the end, it was never to be discovered. The story takes a detour when archaeological findings based on a South American myth were discovered stating that the “golden one” was not a place but in fact a person. This person was a ruler so rich that he covered himself in gold from head to toe each morning and washed it off in a sacred lake each evening.
Based on this alternative account of the Eldorado myth, Randy presents a similar ancient, abstract story told to him in the dine (Navajo) language centered around a “golden one” type of ruler, or perhaps a deity who adorned many jewels and had a temporary city filled with them in New Mexico. In this story the ruler ends up travelling to South America by the way of sitting inside a shooting arrow because he loses his riches to an act of selfish greed. It turns out that the only way to attain the true wealth of the “golden one” was by learning the “golden songs” and singing them to the sacred site of Eldorado. Gold, silver, and copper were being sought after not for their material value, but for its spiritual power, connection to deities, and ability to bring balance and harmony into the world. Perhaps the gold was nothing more than an offering to the gods to encourage them to balance the equilibrium of the cosmos and to ensure a stable relationship with the environment of the physical world. Could it be that the 7 cities of gold (Eldorado being one of them) are on the ley lines of the earth and thus the reason why they kept changing locations and were never discovered? The answers could lie in the abstractions of the 70 + paintings located in the Eldorado Hotel...
Each painting contains a deep history into the past, spanning from ancient symbolisms of Dine (Navajo) culture to different elements representing a hybrid of indigenous, Spanish, and new world counterparts. The colors used represent the gray areas of the story less told, and the composition of each painting brings everything into balance utilizing present day knowledge with futuristic styles and a golden touch. The main influences of the paintings are centered around gambling, gold, geometry, and exploration; gambling because of the numerous attempts and risk taken at finding the city, gold representing the abundance and value of finding the treasures, and the geometry within the maps used to locate the mysterious moving dream.
All in all, one can experience the harmony of being in the golden city after viewing the work. One painting alone will invoke the thrill of discovery! Perhaps the myth of Eldorado was no “myth” after all and the truth is now hanging within 70+ rooms at the Eldorado Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Randy will be painting in a studio space adjacent to the Eldorado Hotel & Spa through July 2015 and his work will periodically be on display in the new Lobby Lounge at the Eldorado. Each new original canvas painting will be approximately 3’ X 4’
“Heritage hotels has always blessed me with an authentic 5 star, enchanting experience of New Mexico combining everything from history, food, art, travel, and comfort.”
- Randy L. Barton
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