Pantaleon Ruiz is proud of his ancestral Zapotec origins and the weaving traditions passed down from his grandfather to his father and on to him. After living in San Francisco for a number of years and traveling the world, he returned to his village eight years ago to confront and master his painting, and to begin weaving. His canvases are huge; his work vibrant and intense. Pots of paint and a mix of different size brushes lie on a sheet by a painting he has yet to complete. Geometric figures and abstract designs express the calm of his sacred heritage. Influenced by the time he spent living and working abroad, he approaches art with an International vision, exploring all of his resources with a vivid passion and unbridled imagination.




In his studio, which he calls his kitchen of mixed media, he demonstrates and discusses his techniques which combine inks and resins to create texture and depth. He is always looking for new textures that give him an opportunity to challenge his creativity. Pantaleon is very critical of his work. “I throw away many paintings; I have to like it before I sell it. My work is dangerous, mixing varnishes and lots of chemicals with natural pigments.”






We follow him out to the courtyard where his long loom is set up.  He and his sister work side by side.  First they clean the raw wool to remove lanolin and then they dye it, using all natural fibers and pigments. It takes as long as a year to translate a painting or an intricate contemporary design into a rug or wall hanging.  





Pantaleon describes himself as “a painter with a dual consciousness “. He calls his work, which has been shown in the Museo Textile Oaxaca, “Transiciones”.  I am honored to meet this multi-dimensional artist who is so adept at weaving life experiences into his art. .