Art & Antiques

Artist Rolando Diaz shares the mystical inspiration for his mother-and-child series, and after-hours chair-maker Danny Kamerath shows us his unique chairs. 

memories of cuba

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES BLAND

“We lived in a villa in old Havana,” Rolando Diaz recalls. “I was running down the hall and looked up…and there she was: a woman in a long white dress carrying a child.” Rolando was about 7 years old when he saw the vision. Shortly thereafter, the family fled Cuba with nothing—except, perhaps, some buried memories. Eventually, Rolando settled in Dallas and began to paint. Today, he lives and works in his loft at South Lamar Street, and his paintings have found their way into collections all over the country. At least 20 are paintings of a mother and child. You can view Rolando’s portfolio online at www.rodiaz.com.

 

the chair man
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ABEL SANCHEZ

THE INSPIRATION FOR DANNY KAMERATH’S HOBBY? THAT’S SIMPLE. HE NEEDED A PLACE TO SIT.

Danny Kamerath is a graphic designer by day. And a chair-maker every other moment he can find. “I just have to make chairs,” Danny says. A quick survey of his M Street bungalow bears out Danny’s confession: his dining room table is littered with chair parts. Chairs surround the dining room table. Chairs sit in the
living room. You’d think there would be more—many more—except that each chair takes Danny about a year to make.
The chairs are not for sale. Danny made his first chair out of necessity: he and his wife Carol needed something to sit on. After spending a full year on his first effort, he rejected the idea of making a “matching set” and decided no two chairs would be alike. In that spirit, each chair is named for a friend.

 

 

 

CHARLIE
Charlie is made out of birch, maple, cherry, Padouk, and Jatoba. “It was sort of my clean-out-the-shop chair,” Danny says. “Charlie is one of my best friends. One day he was fine and the next day he was having open heart surgery. He was in the front of my mind the whole time I made that chair.” Charlie is finished in polyurethane.
SUSAN
“Susan is my first chair. I named it for the friend who served as my template. Susan laid on the floor so I could draw her shape on paper; otherwise I wouldn’t have had a clue about proportions.” Susan is made of Baltic birch plywood and finished in polyurethane.

JIM
“I named this chair Jim because it is really comfortable and way too complicated,” Danny says. Jim is made of mahogany and birch and finished in Danish oil. The chair has 35 legs.
CAROL
“This is Carol, named after my wife. She says I named it for her because it has such skinny legs.” Carol is constructed of Bird’s-eye maple and finished in Danish oil and wax.

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