Rene Romero
Mexico City-born artist Rene F. Romero emigrated to the United States in 1989, and established himself in San Antonio Texas were he is currently continuing the artistic technique known as 'Faux bois' (from the French for false wood). In Mexico and Texas, this style is sometimes referred as "El Trabajo Rústico" (The Rustic Work). It is often characterized by a more realistic look in both composition and coloring, as well as a more finely detailed finish than comparable European work. Romero learned the craft from San Antonio Master Artisan Carlos Cortés. This type of art was first created in France around mid 1800s, this technique uses a rebar armature frame wrapped with galvanized hardware cloth and metal lath, then a mixture of portland cement and coarse concrete sand mix is used. A finishing coat of pure cement paste is used to achieve the realistic wood texture using hand made tools to hand carve the bark details, often mimicking the mesquite bark which is abundant in south Texas and is the main inspiration for most of Rene's pieces. Coloration of his work is the same process of using the same mineral pigments known to be used by Dionisio Rodriguez, a master craftsman sculptor trained in Mexico who came to San Antonio in 1924 and went on to create visionary environments all over the United States until his death in 1955. Rodriguez is recognized as one of America’s foremost faux bois sculptors and many of his works are collectively listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rene Romero's has created hundred of faux bois pieces for private customers all over south Texas, public drinking fountains, and recently has made large projects for two National Historical Parks in San Antonio; The Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo, (A UNESCO World Heritage Site) and at The San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden; also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rene Romero is currently working with the Pease Park Conservancy of Austin. Texas.