A Possible Reality

A quick flip through A Possible Reality: Carlos Loarca—Artist & Muralist was enough to draw me into the colorful world of the Guatemalan painter. Bright, vibrant reds, yellows, blues and greens pop off the pages, while the images of dogs (almost every painting and mural in this book includes a dog) offer a window into Loarca’s background and spirituality. The book, recently published by Loarca’s son, Chicoan Tomas Loarca, also tells the inspiring story of an immigrant’s ability to preserve parts of his native culture through art. The elder Loarca came to the United States when he was 18 years old and has spent most of his life here in Northern California—he currently resides in Sacramento. In addition to his biography, photographs of his paintings and murals are offset by quotes, such as, “I have been painting the same painting that is in my imagination for all these years.” The dog image, he says, came from the Guatemalan legend of El Cadejo, a majestic animal that protects drunks. “As a child, I guess I was always thankful to El Cadejo for bringing my father back home safely,” he says. Ultimately, it’s the pages featuring the more than 50 pieces of Loarca’s art that speak the loudest. Available locally at Lyon Books (135 Main St.).