On both sides of an ocean of light

La Nueva España


Oviedo, Chus Neira

Monica Dixon, half life in New Jersey, half life in Asturias, has found in the maternal land the place in which to paint American exteriors and interiors from nowhere.

Her grandfather was a military and a painter, Agustin Gutierrez de Teran, and in the canvases where she ended up painting nude spaces - sometimes decomposed in twisting broken pieces, or out in the American countryside divested of everything - she also reaches the architecture of her uncle Arturo, support and tough critic of her art. Monica Dixon, born American, with permanent residency in Asturias since 15 years ago, dedicated the past 8 years to painting. Devoted to the search of her light. Her story continues the 'OVD GENERATION' series, the ones born here between 1971 and 1990, now turned into global and advanced professionals, offsprings of XXI C.

To be able to order the work that Monica Dixon (Camden, NJ. 1971) had produced in the last 10 years , as in a long backward sequence travelling, a constant change of scene would be needed: one observes the messy pile of slippers and boots next to the radiator from one of her first still lifes and starts moving away through a hallway, while the lights go off and the volumes and objects fade away, and become just four empty walls inundated with a crossed light that softens the window, of wich we can only see a corner, in her interior canvases. But, suddenly, one is outside and observes half mile away, on top of a hill or at the edge of the near interstate rd, the house with a barn in the middle of the desolate rural country side that sometimes America is.

"Like Hopper" they tell her. This morning the journalist repeats it inside the 'Dolar Cafe', which interior she painted several times, as if it were Oviedo's vesion of 'Nighthawks'. But of course, she explains, Hopper took all U.S. to his canvases. It's landscapes, it's people, it's goods. It's like, if an American observes a painting of an Asturian family next to an 'Horreo', and immediately thinks of Paulino Vicente. Okay.

To complete the travelling problems, Walter Dixon and Paz Gutierrez de Teran met in London. There Donna and Pamela were born. Paradoxical, the most european of the daughters, Monica, arrived in the U.S. next to Delaware river, between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, very close to Philadelphia.

When her mother came back to Spain six years later, she accompanyed her. She was the girl with american accent that studied in 'San Juan' School and in 'La Gesta' and ended up being the one who, at 12 years old went with her cousin to a painting academy in 'San Francisco' street, first; and to personal clases with painter Pantaleon, after. But thinking about the University, she crossed the ocean once again to course her Senior year of highschool in the United States. "I hated it", repellent and closed, Marcos y Aurea saved her, her spanish classmates, one of the first students that in those times singned up to the program- I'm going to study my Senior year in the United States -.

'Rutgers' the State University of New Jersey was something else. One of the best students had some of the best teachers, like Mr. Hoffman, from which she now appreciates the way how he allowed to work in freedom, guiding them, but without mannering them too much. She finnished her career already installed in Philadelphia, where she had her first exhibit, washed dishes and extended her post university years.

The ocean brought her back to Oviedo in 1997. Without fear of painting but with fear of being a painter. The mid solution, stipulated with mom, was a store in 'Gascona' street. Frames and posters, but also Monica Dixon's paintings, that started to sell. In 2004 the trip went farther than the transoceanic dimension. She closed down the store and made art her life. Exhibitions in 'Salas Cultural Center' and 'Oviedo's Auditorium', also group shows in Palencia, then Zamora, and her first solo exhibition in 'Murillo Gallery' in Oviedo (right now and until may 21st, she is exhibiting there, for the third time). And also the awards: 1st Prize in 'Casimiro Baragana' award, selected and finalist several times in the now dissappeared 'Junta del Principado Prize', signed for Madrid's Gallery 'Mada Primavesi' or hanging paintings in shows in New York's 'Broadway gallery'.

Her studio is at home, next to Oviedo's Cathedral. Her daughter Luna, six years old, knows that Mom lock's herself in to work. "Like I say, one has to live somewhere". For now it's this side's turn. A question of light and a point of view.


Monica Dixon Gutierrez de Teran

New Jersey, 1971. Her chilhood was split between Marlton, untill she was six years old, and Oviedo, untill she turned 17. In between, the ocean and two families. But when the time came to study art, she returned to America, Fine Arts at Rutgers the State University of New Jersey. Installed in Philadelphia, there she had her first exhibitions in the Phantom Gallery, one of those "first fridays" in which they celebrate the exciting local artistic scene. In return to the maternal home, 1997, a long parentheses followed, from which Monica Dixon came out in 2004 with the determination of being a full time painter. Life and art gave her since then prizes like 'Casimiro Baragana', here, or the 'Mary Jane Kelleher Wille', there. Solo and Group exhibitions, sales and presence in art galleries in her land (until may 21st in Murillo), in Madrid (Mada Primavesi) or in New York. Her paintings tend to light. From the interior and to the exterior.