2014 was a great year for Paul O’Connor. His acclaimed book Taos Portraits won three categories, including Best Book at the Arizona/New Mexico Book Awards, a powerful statement for Paul, who dedicated twenty years of work to the project which you can find out more about through his link next.
Taos Portraits have been included in the permanent collection of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, in museums and libraries here in the United States and last weekend Paul’s work was featured in the Wall Street Journal in a photograph/article about the Taos bookstore Moby Dickens. a-different-kind-of-book-tour
So it seemed fitting that I chose Paul to celebrate 2014 here at stylotao.
Because Paul O’Connor is much more than a photographic chronicler of other artists. Paul is an artist himself who is certainly not limited to one medium. He is a sculptor, an adventurer, a great cook (he made one of the best soups I’ve ever had the day we visited) and an amazing builder. The Earthship that he and his wife Tizia call home will be featured in next week’s story about Auromesa, Tizia’s Ayurvedic practice.
The house is an ongoing art project for Paul, who showed us a newly completed retaining wall that was sculptural in its rustic geometry of rocks and stones held back by heavy industrial wire, along with a therapy pool he created for that Tizia uses it in her work. A new shop and studio have also been recently built. It’s just a ball of unstoppable energy.
Paul and Tizia started building their house in Hondo Mesa, near the Rio Grande Gorge, more than twenty-five years ago and, except for the seven years they lived in France, where Tizia is from, with their daughter Sophie, it has always been your home.
Everything in this abode has been lovingly curated by this tremendously talented couple, from the rocks collected in a maze, brought home from rivers and fields near and far, to the art that hangs in every available space.
Art is truly the center of Paul’s life. He lives it and with his camera, he captures eye-opening moments with other artists through a still and calm Zen lens that focuses slowly and takes his time to really look and find what we might not otherwise see.
Photographs of Paul, his fabulous bean soup, and his metal sculpture (and dog) on Bill Curry’s purple wall
Warning: Paul has graciously allowed me to include his new portraits of Taos artists here on the blog. Debbie Long and Tom Dixon were profiled in stylotao under the label Art. I wrote six profiles for Taos Portraits.