Phyllis Kind Gallery is honored to present Jessie Montes, on exhibition April 19th through May 31st, 2003. On exhibit are works intricately constructed from corrugated cardboard portraits, landscapes, and still lifes. Jesus (Jessie) Manuel Montes was born to Agapito and Eulogia Montes on March 18, 1935. He was reared in a rural village in Mexico. He came to the United States in 1956, moving to Ford, Kansas, and later to Michigan, where he worked in the construction field. Montes now resides in Canon City, Colorado.
Montes did not attend school as a child, but was taught to read and write by his mother. He has had no formal training in Art. In 1972, after attending night school, he was awarded a GED certificate, and was able to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. When Montes' daughter, a military nurse, was dispatched to the Persian Gulf in 1990, Montes began to fashion a picture-frame from cardboard, to occupy his mind. This initial use of cardboard as a medium led to his doing portraits, landscapes, abstractions and sculpture, all in plain and colored cardboard. He uses smaller-sized corrugations for finer details, cutting the board into strips and glueing them together in the labor-intensive and technically accomplished process of producing a work. Each work is brushed with a mixture of water and glue and, when dry, sprayed with varnish. The most impelling, single aspect of his brilliant and unmistakable work is its significant inventiveness, wholly his own.