I’m very sad and am having a hard time working today. I found out yesterday that a dear friend of mine passed away suddenly. I knew he wasn’t well, and I could see he wasn’t well, but we couldn’t see each other in person because of Covid. I know he wouldn’t want me to stop painting today, so I thought I would take a few minutes today and share some of my memories of this beautiful person.
A chance meeting in Montréal
I thought I would take a few minutes today to remember and pay homage to a friend who passed on April 20, 2021.
Carlos Murguia was an artist, a kindred spirit and a very dear friend who helped me restore a belief in myself and my art.
It was pure chance that I met Carlos Murguia that day in 2003 in Old Montreal. I had been out all day looking for gallery representation and came across a new gallery opening on rue St-Paul Ouest. Little did I know I was about to meet one of the most remarkable persons I have ever met.
Galerie Rodlerwood in Montréal was one of several businesses that he and his partner Doug had opened over many years. As artists, they had decided to sell their works themselves and had done so quite successfully. It was a partnership unlike any other that I had seen and will probably ever see again.
Carlos was installing lights in the gallery when I walked in, and I could see that he was busy. I asked if I could leave my CV. He took a very quick peek and asked me when I could come back. I said I could be back in a week around the same time if it were convenient.
What I didn’t know at the time was that the gallery only represented two artists, Carlos Murguia the Photographer and Doug Marr, the Painter. There was no intent to have anyone else represented. That’s the way things were.
When I appeared the following week, he was smiling and sincerely happy to see me again. We chatted a little bit and instantly felt that we had known each other a lot longer than the time we had spent on earth this time around. Anyone meeting Carlos knew they had a friend for life.
I had brought in some smaller realist works I had done to show him. He was the first enthusiastic art dealer I had ever met where my career and art were concerned. I asked if he was interested, and he said yes, but he had to call his partner first.
After a brief call to Doug, they accepted me into their gallery! Knowing what I know now, it is even more special.
Until then, I had been thinking about giving up on ever being in a gallery and seriously considering giving it all up. Thanks to Carlos and Doug, I have remained true!
Love and generosity
Carlos was one of the most loving and generous people I have ever met. Always a sharp dresser, he gave a new definition as to what a successful artist should look like. Good food was always on the menu, and he was a phenomenal cook!
On one of the last nights in Montréal, he took me out to a wonderful authentic Mexican restaurant for drinks and a meal after he closed the gallery. He encouraged me to keep going and to never give up on my dream, and so I did.
A bright light, a beacon
I lost track of him for a few years, but he found me again. He had this ability to know when we needed him most. I needed him. It was when I was in the middle of my divorce when he first reached out.
You see, when there was darkness, Carlos was like that lighthouse in his photograph.
He always shone a bright light so people like me could see who we truly are.
You are missed by many
We had talked about seeing each other after Covid and confinement, but now the drinks will have to be in the next place, my friend!
One thing for sure wherever he is now, there is Doug; there is laughter, joy, happiness and one hell of a party!