Healthy Living

Father with Parkinson's Finds his Love for Painting Again

Father with Parkinson's Finds his Love for Painting Again

When art curator, Olivia Ives-Flores was working on her latest collection, "Menagerie", she had a sudden idea to include her father's art. She described this idea as a "gut feeling", knowing that her father, Enrique Flores-Galbis, would have something unique and important to add to her artwork. However, only one obstacle stood in her way. Her father stopped painting in 2015, and hasn't painted professionally since then.

Her father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which completely took away his skill to paint and work out the details in his artwork. "I just was not up to doing these detailed things that I used to do, like putting a highlight on a child's eye, or putting just the detail that you need. Those require the firmness of your hand," said Enrique in an interview at the newly-launched exhibition space Gallery Oh at AMALGAM. “Menagerie” was on display until June 11th.

In the past years, Enrique still tried to keep busy with his art. He had been experimenting with a new style of work on a small scale in his personal studio. It was a much less figurative, much more colorful aesthetic that he hadn’t released nor shown to the public.

But, his daughter did not let go of the idea of having her father's work featured in her collection, which revolved around the theme of flora, fauna and wilderness.

"Whenever I curate an exhibition, it really starts with the feeling," she said. And, that feeling was all that she had to go by. However, her relationship with her father was not like any other. It was one of complete and total trust. Both her and her father could communicate an idea or feeling with each other with glances and no words.

This connection was nurtured by their family dynamic established when Ives-Flores was just a child. Laurel Ives, her mother, was an accomplished graphic designer, who held a steady 9-to-5 job, while her father spent most of the day with his daughters and painted his works mostly at night.

 "We were always making art around the table. I grew up in the museums and tagging along with him," said Ives-Flores. "He always reminds me that he talked to me as an adult even when I was a baby, and would tell me about art and illuminate these great masterpieces even when I was still in a diaper."

Read on to learn more about this great bond between father and daughter.

Photo source: Enrique Flores-Galbis with Olivia Ives-Flores and his painting "Tiger, Tiger" by Jessica Costa/WBUR