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The Bob Diven Once-in-a-Lifetime Art Auction Closed (#13677026)

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Billy The Kid

  Lot # BD189
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Billy The Kid

  • Urethane Resin Cast
  • Filled With Rigid Foam
  • Hand-painted Bronze Finish With Brass Plaque
  • 2022

One of a series of 5 existing casts from Bob’s original clay sculpture of Billy the Kid. Bob created the molds and the casting machines. One of the Billy the Kid is in the collection of The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, one is at Sparky’s in Hatch, NM., and a third is in a vacation rental property in Mesilla, NM.

ARTIST NOTES: There’s a long, long story behind this Billy the Kid sculpture that began with the conversation I was having with Pat, Beckett, founder of COAS Books, as we discussed what it would take to make Main Street live again. He suggested a 60 foot tall Billy the Kid with a restaurant in a sombrero! Well, I took that idea and ran with it, and designed a building with just such a sculpture attached. I even had a developer shake hands with me on the idea. That never came to be, but I went ahead and completed the clay sculpture, and then, during the pandemic, I made a mold of it, and cast a handful of resin copies, so that the Farm and Ranch Museum could have one for an upcoming exhibit. This is one of the five casts of my Billy the Kid sculpture.

Good, As Shown

72.5 X 27.5 X 16

About the Artist:

New Mexico artist Bob Diven came to Las Cruces at the age of 5.  His father was a World War 2 veteran and former big-band singer from Pennsylvania who became a high school English teacher at Mayfield High School the year it opened. Bob's mother was a former collegiate champion golfer from Illinois who had attended a summer camp in New Mexico in the 1930s and played in a golf tournament in Las Cruces in 1941.  Bob grew up exploring the desert with his four older brothers, Bill, Chuck, Ben, and Jack.

Bob graduated from Las Cruces High School, and after a year of college at NMSU joined the US Coast Guard and was stationed in the Bay Area of California.  It was there, while awaiting his discharge, that he met Chet, a former professional commercial artist, who was able to evaluate Bob's drawing and sculpting skills and offer guidance in the selection of a small art school in Denver, Colorado, that specialized in figure drawing and anatomy.

Bob refers to his time at The Rocky Mountain School of Art (now The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design) as "The most revolutionary educational experience" of his life.   He worked from the live model every day, learning anatomy and the depiction of light and shadow in a traditional way.

After art school, Bob began to work as an illustrator and found work as a commercial artist in Albuquerque, working in television, advertising, and publishing.  During a short stint volunteering in The Netherlands, he was exposed to the work of Van Gogh and came back to Las Cruces, bought a paint box and some oil paints, and set out to paint landscapes like the Impressionists.  At this time, paintings finally began to make sense to him.

Over the years Bob expanded his skills as he explored the many natural-born talents he inherited.  His paintings continued to improve, but he also took on theatrical scenery design, writing, musical composition, playwriting, sculpture, and editorial cartooning.

He won top prizes at the first Denver Street Art Festival and the top award at El Paso's Chalk the Block.  His editorial cartoons and writing have won state and national awards, and his paintings have been shown in local, regional, and national juried exhibitions and are included in permanent collections.  The Doña Ana Arts Council gave Bob their Community Arts Award, and Artforms named him Community Artist of the Year.  He has taught classes and workshops, been an artist in residence in the Las Cruces Public Schools and with The Downtown Las Cruces Partnership.

Bob has built his life around his art, making room for whatever inspirations come his way.  His hobby is reviving old typewriters.

Lot # BD189
System ID # 13726841
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