Stimulating creative understanding of contemporary images.
He entered college at the University of the Americas, in Mexico City, and eventually obtained Bachelor and Master degrees of Fine Arts and Art History from this international institution. Mexico City was beautiful, cosmopolitan, an intellectually vibrant city. Contemporary Mexican painters like Orozco, Siqueiros, and Tamayo represented to the art student a powerfully creative generation of artists. The influence of Mexico and its art has had a lasting effect on Gafford as an artist.
Degree in hand, Gafford was promptly given the opportunity for further travel and study by the U.S. Navy. He was called for military service and assigned to Turkey. Every spare moment was spent in the old city of Istanbul among its Byzantine and Islamic architecture and artifacts. He married a French citizen and spent the next few years in Europe, painting and exhibiting his works.
Finally, Texas beckoned with its wide-opened skies, colorful landscapes and the feel of physical and spiritual freedom. In 1976, Gafford returned home.
Gafford learned the muralist techniques when he was in Mexico. He discovered in Europe that the mural, well conceived, will contribute to the comfort and enchantment of a home. Inside, the mural brings about a different sense of space, a lessening of the sharp edges imposed upon us by walls and ceilings, a modification of the perceived architecture. Over a period of years, Gafford’s murals have brought beauty and fantasy to restaurants, hotels, stores as well as private homes.
Aside from this commercial endeavor, Gafford continues to paint less accessible and more metaphysical paintings. Forged in a surrealist technique, Gafford’s images are rooted in a mythical and biblical field of reference, upon which they draw and comment on modern paradoxes. He speaks of places real or imagined, but always aims the viewer at the junction between the mind and the heart and requests of him a meditation and a commitment.
The symbolic nature of Gafford’s painting has deepened over the years. But always, whether serious or playful, his paintings exhibit his love of color, layered and subtly blended with bold and precise outbursts.