Santa Fe Living Treasures ‚Äď Elder Stories

<<Back to Treasures Index

Tommy Macaione

Tommy Macaione

 

PAINTER, POLITICIAN, PONTIFICATOR

Honored July, 1985

Tommy Macaione

Southbound motorists traveling down the Bajada on Interstate 25 toward Albuquerque may never have seen Tommy Macaione's masterpieces, but they knew how he felt about his work. "Messieurs Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh: Please step aside for Thomas S. Macaione, the new star of the world firmament. Let him bask in the light of world fame," the billboard proclaimed.

"El Diferente," and "Macaroni," as Tommy came to be known, arrived in Santa Fe in 1952. "It was Randall Davey's art school pictured in Life magazine and the great adobe haciendas... that attracted me to Santa Fe," he recalled. "The art colony looked like it would be an ideal place to go and settle, and maybe have a secure art life. But it turned out that Mr. Randall Davey had established himself as a great teacher. He was earning a good living. I, as an upstart, young fellow, had to work menial jobs. It was an awful hard climate. I starved mercilessly, you might say."