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Herradura Art Program - Kiki Valdes - #artherradura

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Leveraging its long established art platform in Mexico, Tequila Herradura will be sharing their history, heritage and passion for crafting quality tequila with art aficionados nationwide through the Herradura Barrel Art Program.

For our Tequila, the oak barrel is the final stage in our creative process, the aging period where each handcrafted batch develops its individual character. For 80 professional and emerging artists, these same barrels will serve as departure point for the creation of a unique work of art.

We know how to craft great tequila—the finest in the world. We have selected great artists to make great art. We understand that to create something interesting you need freedom, so we only made one rule: the artists have to use the barrel. How they use it is entirely up to them

"Amigos de Herradura
2013 - (Oil paint on tequila barrel)
For me it was important to display the wonderful and original shape of the barrel. I challenged myself into making a 365 degree angle painting on the surface. By doing this, there is no front and no back to the art piece. The painting and imagery is a testament of where I am at as an artist. In the same way I did not take apart the barrel, I did not chip away at the direction of my work. The barrel and the art are united as one without compromising each other. There is a long history of how the tequila is made, there is a history to my life and how I make my work. This is truly what my art barrel is about. I wanted to show enjoyment and togetherness with the abstract figures and colors, just as Herradura and I are coming together with support and friendship
All photos are works in progress. The finished piece will be presented on Nov. 12th in South Beach. 

Local Crit - Wed, Nov. 27th 2013

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Presented by: 


300 SW 1st Ave - Ft. Lauderdale, FL. 33301 (at las olas Riverfront) 6pm - 10pm / 

Carol Prusa - "Optic Nerve" - 2013 

                W E D N E S D A Y ,   N O V E M B E R  2 7 T H  2 0 1 3

Jessy Nite: The Overdose

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How did you get into incorporating pills into your work? 

most of my work is about my relationship with drugs and behaviors/people that surround them.  Whether they lean toward molly or prescriptions, pills speak to a certain kind of high and dependency that I like to play with.  They are the friendliest and most fun drug to use.  (in my art or real life haha)

You have a strong connection with graphic design, how much does it play into your art practice in the studio? 

I use it seamlessly throughout my process these days.  I use all of my own content throughout my pieces (all type styles are my creation and all illustration is done by

All Photos by David Cabrera. View all photoshere. 
hand to start off) so everything begins with my technical drawing skills.   My graphic design skills allow me to work on a larger scale and with variety of mediums, and influence my concepts and aesthetic.

Are you really into nightlife? Where are some places you like to hang out that may inspire your work? 

I've always been a party animal and was exposed to nightlife culture when I was young.  I work my ass of these days so I don't get out as much as I used to, but every now and then I love to get totally wasted and go to the mega clubs like LIV, Story or The Wall.  I love the whole show…the music, lights, performers and even the hilarity within the crowd.  Its such a bizzaro world with two very contrasting realities.  In-the-moment is one thing but the reality of it all is another.  That South Beach club world is really not my scene but its fun to visit for sure!!!  

(Interview continues below) 
(Interview continues below) 
Tell us a little bit about your current show right now at the Hollywood Art and Culture Center. 

Behavioral Patterns is a group of new works that reflect a lot of personal experiences.  Its a survey of the bad behaviors that I continue to repeat and struggle with.  The stories are personal and reflect my feelings toward a very specific area of my life.  One piece reads "Tried & True" in one direction, and "Tired & Thru" in the other….that is about relationships and the kind of people I always choose to be with.  "Roll Model" is the duality of the party girl in-the-moment and after.   Although, those serious undertones are clouded by the sentimental nature of the sayings and the colorful and clean presentation.

Working on anything currently? 

This November is going to be so busy!  First up I am releasing a dope new print and a very limited edition of pill jewelry that matches my "Roll Model" piece, then a large installation going up in the Filling Station in Wynwood, a new building takeover on Calle Ocho, a giant rainbow vortex for a show in Ft Lauderdale, and perhaps a little surprise for Basel…I gotta keep you posted on that last one!

Lowest point in your art career was when? 

No low points…I keep it positive!

Highest point in your art career at this point has been? 

I get higher everyday...

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Learn more about Jessy Nite right here. 


Posted by indiadebeaufort Views: 3,844
SO. Where were we? Ah yes... In my last post I was saying "YES" and venturing out into the world of the small business owner. And now, it's October, and many months have gone by since the paperwork was filed, and the fee's were paid, and now I find myself $3k in debt, to...uh...myself. 

There are various expenses incurred when starting your own business, even if you are doing virtually all the work alone. I even built my own garment rails to save money...(pictured below) and I STILL had to lay out 4K total just to get my little store off the ground.

I decided to sell at the the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea, and also online. Easy you say... buy some vintage clothing, pack up your car, set up shop and have a lovely old time. I said the same thing... And now I laugh in my own face.

Just to get going I needed garment rails, shopping bags, tents for shade. I pay $120 per month space rental, $120 per month uhaul rental, and at least $75 in lunch and gas. I needed labels, label guns ,tissue paper, office supplies, a book keeper and jewelry displays, and non of this actually includes the cost of stock for resale.

Let's talk about stock. Where do you think your vintage clothing comes from? We'd all like to think our one of a kind finds have been hanging in the back of some sweet old biddy's closet for the last 50 years, until one day she pops off and they emerge in a glory of lost treasure now found but... News flash: That is not the case. I buy my vintage wholesale from rag houses. Enormous warehouses in the unloved parts of Los Angeles that require a dust mask, a strong back, and an even stronger will. I spend the better part of a day knee deep in the ugliest clothing you have ever seen, desperateley hoping that under the hundreds of pounds of 80's shoulder pads there will be a miracle. One piece of vintage clothing that not only is beautiful enough to save, but somehow not stained, or torn, or shredded. The number of incredible damaged finds I have had to throw back into the vast ocean of vintage crap is devastating. The simple fact is, true chic vintage is rare, because it rarely makes it this far.

So we have our stock, our rails and our tents, we've loaded our truck for 4 hours on a Saturday afternoon, packed our lunch and picked our outfit for the following day (something that says "I'm cool so my taste in vintage must be" ) now what? Well, you hit the sack around 7pm on Saturday night. No more SNL for you. Wake up around 2:30 / 3am on Sunday morning, eat some breakfast, hit the shower, hit the road. You arrive at the rose bowl around 3:30am, where you're greeted with a line of trucks a mile long, all waiting to gain entry to the gates of second hand goods. In the veil of darkness, you find your way to your 18ft x 20ft space, and you join your fellow vendors. Your comrades. The only other people in the world who know what its like to have joined this circus, and you each make your little slice of home. In a few hours an empty lot becomes the valley of the lost and found, and for one day only, we are the people of the Rose Bowl Flea.
WE ARE STRANGE FOLK, all trying to get by without committing to the 9 - 5 lifestyle we just weren't made for, and you never tire of the stories and personalities behind the facade of the ever smiling vendor. My neighbor was making a sale last week when a gentleman asked him "Are you big?" to which he obviously was a little confused, until the afore mentioned gentleman went on to ask if he "gave good head". There are two ladies selling jewelry across from me who make for fascinating people watching, every week one of the ladies bosses the other around in the most patronizing way, scolding her for not performing some menial task to her high standards, and then a customer will stop by and she'll flip on a dime. There are a couple odd balls who walk around in white gloves and face masks, a lovely old fellow who turned his motorized assistance scooter into a steam train, sound effects and all, and wears the cap and scarf to match. There's one vendor who won't let you buy anything... never understood that one. But despite our quirks and strange little habits, we are a community. We are a family. If your engine dies somebody's ready with a jump lead. If your stock blows away, somebody gives chase and brings it home safely. If its 100 degrees and you can't quite hold up, somebody shares their water, and shares their shade. And when the sun starts setting and the crowd thins out, we all celebrate or commiserate the days takings together.

As much as I love the Rose Bowl Flea and all its quirks I'm afraid I'm on my way out. I never intended for this to be a profession, I always saw it as more of a hobby, and for me the benefits just don't out weigh the work. It's hard, It's really hard. And more than anything I miss being able to peruse the thousands of stalls myself. But, never one to give up lightly, I'm committed to staying in the game until I break even. 
So, If you find yourself Pasadena way on the second Sunday of the month, you might just see me, or, I might be already gone. Either way, I hope  the next time you buy anything from a flea, you don't bargain quite as hard as you did. The people of the Rose Bowl Flea kill themselves to be there, and they deserve every penny they get.

we are the people

Nuevas Fundaciones - Installation Photos

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In NUEVAS FUNDACIONES, artists Jel Martinez, Kiki Valdes, and Mariana Monteagudo each demonstrate degrees of creating physical embodiments of their own practices. Each communicates through their prime foundations of painting, sculpture, surface layering and color. Beyond various art making differences, there is an underlying aesthetic value each artist possesses that unifies their work in the white box.

Nuevas Fundaciones - Jel Martinez, Mariana Monteagudo, Kiki Valdes

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New works by: 


In NUEVAS FUNDACIONES, artists Jel Martinez, Kiki Valdes, and Mariana Monteagudo each demonstrate degrees of creating physical embodiments of their own practices. Each communicates through their prime foundations of painting, sculpture, surface layering and color. Beyond various art making differences, there is an underlying aesthetic value each artist possesses that unifies their work in the white box.


"My work first starts from documenting the removals through photographs I capture in the streets. I then become 3 different characters, the construction worker who creates the wall, the vandal who defaces the property and the city employee who removes the graffiti. My work consists of multiple layers which are a reenactment of what is happening in our surroundings and all have a story and memory behind it. I try to give the viewer the opportunity to visualize and understand a movement that previously went untold and unnoticed by the general public."
- Jel Martinez 
"I am using a general, non specific cartoon character...meaning it sort of looks like Goofy, Mickey Mouse or Ren and Stimpy. I use certain components of those identifiable images and make them into abstractions, or a somewhat still-life of what those shapes can do. I use certain qualities of the curves, exaggerated eyes and big mouths to emphasize the duality of those compositions. There is a battle between the graphic figuration that is very familiar to us and what is familiar in painting."
Miami Art Space - 6pm - 10pm 

244 NW 35th Street. 

Miami, FL. 33127 

SEPT. 28
- Kiki Valdes 
"It starts with an  inspiration, it can be virtually anything. I usually conceive a group of pieces as if it was a cast from a theater play; every character has a specific role in the story.  For instance, this time I have been obsessed with the classic images of the circus and the 1930’s Tod Browning’s film “Freaks”. A heartbreaking story of the human dramas within a traveling circus. So my new group is taking a lot from this story, and from the circus world. I begin with a theme, a starting point; then it evolves by itself, opening new windows to other reflections and sources of inspirations. "
- Mariana Monteagudo 
Mariana Monteagudo - Rag Family (2013) 
Kiki Valdes - Ibex (2013) 
Jel Martinez - Play the City (2011) 
MAS (MIAMI ART SPACE) is a contemporary and innovative art space located in the heart of the Wynwood Art District and just west of Miami’s Design District. Developed to be a mixed use venue, MAS’s ample interior and exterior spaces welcome events of all sizes and types, and is only limited by one’s imagination. Inside you’ll find large bright spaces with soaring ceilings and cool contemporary touches. Outside enjoy over 7,000 sq. ft. of private/walled courtyards surrounded by lush bamboo gardens. 
Opens: Saturday, Sept. 28th 2013
Miami Art Space 
6pm - 10pm 
244 NW 35th Street. 
Miami, FL. 33127 

For press contact and for appointments: 

Lilian Mustelier
Jel Martinez examines the buff, where different methods in which graffiti and tags are covered over imbue his paintings with everyday visual realities from the street. Working on wood panels in his studio he instinctively replicates what happens over the history of a public wall. The result is a figureless expressionism that communicates through a multilayered use of texture, color, and shape that both obscures and highlights his use of surfaces. 
Mariana Monteagudo’s dolls evoke images of childhood innocence and horror films, while channeling her obsessive vision through an intelligent use of color and meticulous detail. The illusionist landscape created by her dolls is one in which color moves us from one doll to another. In doing so, the viewer absorbs abstracted images of dolls, with colorful familiar bodies, topped by expressive and invitingly disturbing heads.
Kiki Valdes uses cartoon imagery as both a visual lure and guide, taking the viewer deeper into abstraction and communicating through overlapping colors and a transformative array of forms that reconcile recognizable popular imagery with post contemporary painting.

Aramis Gutierrez - Artist Interview

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Q: What has drawn you to painting dancers? I remember your past work being quite humorous. 

A: I guess I'd felt like I had been using humor as a crutch for too long and sometimes a joke looses its appeal, especially when you are expecting it. What attracted me was a tendency in dance to subvert narrative through form. Also, dance is performative and requires a great deal of rehearsal or skill to successfully suspend belief.  The type of painting that interests me shares an affinity to both of these qualities.  Besides, if you are familiar with me and my humor, the notion that I am making dance paintings is still pretty funny. 

Q: It's been a while since you have had a solo show. Tell us about your latest exhibit.
A: There are too many shows and too many artists showing things that are unremarkable. Collective attitudes on aesthetics don't really interest me and I found myself alone which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  After about a 3 year transition and two bodies of un-exhibited paintings, I decided I needed to achieve something formal that I had always wanted in my work. Like the Cocteau Twins, I had always wanted to achieve a contradictory place that is both violent and atmospheric, sexually charged yet androgynous.  Now that I happier with the results I'm sure you will be seeing more from me. 

Miami-based artist Aramis Gutierrez talks to us about his latest work and his new exhibit "End Game Aesthetics" happening at Spinello Projects. 
Q:What's GUCCIVUITTON? How did it happen?
A: GUCCIVUITTON is a gallery that Loriel Beltran, Domingo Castillo and I opened in Little River.  Initially it came from idea that commercial galleries in Miami needed to raise the bar... substantially.  We were loosing interest in even attending exhibitions, but we were still interested in seeing what certain Miami artists were doing.  Instead of endlessly complaining about this we decided to try putting our money where are mouths are.  Once the gallery was built out and we saw the tangible potential of the space we made, we decided to focus on, but not be limited to, regional aesthetics.  Unless we get behind what makes us unique, the Miami art scene will always be held hostage to the creative output of more established art centers (like NY or LA).  This is something all three of us believe in strongly.

Q:I remember many of your works being pretty monumental in size. Do you prefer working in a larger scale in general? 

A: Yes, but my present studio is only 107" tall. 
Q: Highest point in your art career to this point was when? 

A: I'll tell you later. 
To view more works by Aramis Gutierrez visit right here. 
Q: Lowest point in your art career was when? 

A: I'm always only as good as my next painting which makes it an elusive pursuit. 
"End Game Aesthetics" opens Sept. 14th at 
Spinello Projects  - 2930 NW 7th Ave. Miami, FL 33127

For his current body of work, Miami-based artist Aramis Gutierrez addresses the marriage of Cold War nuclear deterrence policies and recent cultural legacy visible through a visual aesthetic. Actively resisting a ‘fascist aesthetic’, where long-standing symbologies and stereotypes are inexorably linked to an artist’s medium or practice, Gutierrez reveals numerous (sometimes all) layers of a painter’s process to initiate an interactive dialogue between artist and viewer. A firm interest in dramaturgy and cutural myths induce creative polarities which Gutierrez explores in theaters of war and Classical dance.


Aramis Gutierrez was born in Pittsburgh in 1975. He received his BFA at The Cooper Union, New York. Gutierrez has exhibited widely across the US, having his work featured at venues in Philadelphia, New York and Miami as well as a special exhibition of South Florida contemporary artists held in Istanbul in 2007. He has held residency with The Deering Estate Invitational Studio Residency Program and his work has appeared in publications including The Miami Herald, 944 Miami, MAP Magazine, Ocean Drive, Oxford American: The Southern Magazine of Good Writing (No. 66, September 2009) and the 76th Volume of New American Paintings (2008). Gutierrez lives and works in Miami.


Nuevas Fundaciones (Group Show)

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Miami Art Space - 244 NW 35th Street - Miami, FL. 33127
Info: 786.315.8369 - 
6pm -10pm 
Miami Art Space - 
  Works by: 

SATURDAY, SEPT 28th 2013


Greg Haberny, Burn All Crayons

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New Yorkers have something to look forward to in September. Tell us about your upcoming solo show.  

It's called "Burn All Crayons" it's basically a fantasized version of youth revolting about what they are "fed".....and the over the top results of that....enough said....

A lot of your work seems to address the over politicization of American government. What is your stance on the matter? 

I don't understand the system any longer. Nor do I even try.....Politics is generally defined as service to the public. The jobs in my opinion are  generally modest...yet they all retire multi millionaires on a sold salary. Wish I understood that....(laughs)

 Politicians are hard to like, 
but who is someone you completely despise in politics?

Honestly I don't hate anyone. That's a waste of energy, time, and just stupid. 

Anyone you admire from politics? 

MLK...Malcolm X I admire because they spoke truth and their belief was solid,truthful, and passionate. They stood up and never backed down. I respect people that believe in a cause so much ....they would die for it.Unfortunately, they both did.
Greg Haberny talks art, 
politics, icons and his 
new exhibit in NYC. 
 I notice your work plays with pop culture elements that come out crude, dirty and decayed. What draws your aggressive energy to popular imagery?

The old style is dead. Everything is computer graphics. I try to keep alive some old school styles. The icons of the past are no longer icons....they are memories...fallen heroes...

 For a new young artist moving to New York, what would be the top 3 things you would tell them to avoid. 

Drugs...booze...and relationships...(laughs)....oh art too!

Have you lost any friends over your work? If so do you have any specific story that sticks out? 

I don't run in large circles and I'm kind of an introvert. I try to be very civil to anyone and all. My work is my work. It's not generally militant and it has an absurd sense of humor. I just express my feelings, feelings are just that...feelings, not facts. If I lost friends over my work I guess we weren't really friends in the first place...(laughing)

Greg Haberny's solo show opens Sept. 6th at Lyons Wier Gallery. To learn more about Haberny's work visit his site right here. 

Brooklyn artist Christian Rex van Minnen Interview

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So, you were switching studios yesterday?

Yeah, moved just down the street near the Navy Yards.Very excited.This is my first legit, out-of-home art studio. With a door and bathroom, anyway.

What does a day look like for you at the studio?

Coffee. I put together a media playlist for the day, alternating between podcasts, music, audiobooks. I try to spend a good amount of time thinking about my palette- if i can use up yesterday's palette on something, build a new one, scraping, cleaning, etc. I try to gauge my mood and what process is best suited for that mood: underpainting is good for restlessness, grisaille for anxiety, glazing for more serene moods. Facebook and all that is persistent distraction, of course.

There's a lot of historic references in your work. How has your paintings developed over the years to the point of how we know them today?

Yes, there are. I am interested in the formal aspects of portraiture and still-life; the geometry and system of delivering information in those specific stylistic conventions. I see them as a sort of marketing platform. Before i became engaged, and engorged, in Old Master's painting i was doing basic surrealism, using a lot of automatic drawing but without any compositional constraints. 
(Continues below) 
Portraiture and still-life provided me something to bump into. I still use those art historical references as a crutch and I foresee a day when I will need to ween myself from them.

Are you ever surprised with how a piece starts and how it ends?

I try to make a point of it. I try to keep it tastefully awkward.

Tell us a little bit about the Great Western Buffet? Are you into buffets?

No, I think buffets are gross actually. Giant petri dishes. I think
that western culture has a giant shit sandwich to eat and we all gottatake a bite. Spiritual healing through the eating of shit sandwiches.

Congrats on becoming a father. How has it been? Has the transition been real different of how you make work?

Thank you. It has been amazing and intense and a lot of other newemotions that I don't have a name for yet. The 'how' part hasn'tchanged, but the 'when' certainly has, and maybe even the 'why' part alittle bit. In general I have to be a little more efficient andeffective with my time. Less studio catatonia. 

Lowest point of your art career was when?

Anytime there was anything that had something to do with an'art-career' was a high point! I've really had to piece this thing together doing whatever I could- set design, furniture commissions,portraits, teaching- I even did an illustration for Playboy once. I've done some art-career things I would rather have not done but in the end it was always better than digging a ditch or mowing a lawn, or pulling up old floors. Anytime I was lucky enough to do something art related and get paid for it I was pretty happy. There have been days sitting catatonic in the studio surrounded by piss bottles and thinking of suicide. But that's just a low point in life that caused my art to suffer. That was me just being a narcissistic idiot.

Highest point thus far of your art career was when?

Getting to quit my job as a delivery driver a couple years ago and working full-time as a painter. It's really been great. Moving to NewYork has also been incredible. I've been able to meet so many artists and cool people. It's the first time I've really felt a part of a
(Continues below) 
To learn more about Christian Rex van Minnen visit his site right here

Venezuelan artist, Mariana Monteagudo

Posted by ArtInterviews Views: 5,370

There is something sinister yet innocent about the doll sculptures you create. What do they mean to you? 

They mean everything to me. I cannot conceive waking up without an idea of how I will improve a piece, or how what I do during the day will contribute to my work.At the beginning the doll was just a pretext, a way of expression; after 15 years I’ve discovered that it's much more than that. For me the image of the classic doll depicts an ideal of beauty and innocence of childhood, but is somehow an over-dimension of tenderness that often touches the monstrous. My characters are inspired in dolls, but at the end they are a reflection of human expressions and emotions. Is a subtle sense of palpitation what I am looking for; is the constant search of that “thing” you cannot quite explain with words.

 MARIANA MONTEAGUDO is a Miami based Venezuelan artist who has been working her series of doll sculptures over the last decade. Her latex, ceramic and mixed-media dolls are intriguing and fascinating. Her artwork shows interest in a wide range of expressions , from the pre-Columbian aesthetics, to fashion , tv pop culture, Japanese manga and mass-market toys. We had a chance to talk to her recently. Enjoy. 

What's the process of making them? How do you come up with the various expressions on the faces? 

It starts with an  inspiration, it can be virtually anything. I usually conceive a group of pieces as if it was a cast from a theater play; every character has a specific role in the story.  For instance, this time I have been obsessed with the classic images of the circus and the 1930’s Tod Browning’s film “Freaks”. A heartbreaking story of the human dramas within a traveling circus. So my new group is taking a lot from this story, and from the circus world. I begin with a theme, a starting point; then it evolves by itself, opening new windows to other reflections and sources of inspirations. 

Are you into toy collecting? 

Oh yes, I love collecting dolls. In fact I could say that when it comes to my work, I have the personality of a collector. That pervasive feeling of nostalgia (and an obsessive sense of accumulation) of collectors permeates into my work. 

What medium is one you would like to explore with your work that has not happened yet? 

Inflatable sculptures, fiberglass, resin, bronze, so many things yet to explore.

Anything coming up?

Yes, a new exciting group of pieces. I am currently producing approximately 20 pieces for my representing gallery in Europe.

Lowest point in your art career was when? 

When I moved to the US and had to figure out a new way to make my sculptures. It was hard to adapt myself to a whole new environment. It is not easy to get out of your comfort zone and start from square one. But ultimately everything is for a good reason, and an opportunity to open your mind to new things.

Highest point in your career so far has been?

It is hard to pinpoint a high point in my career. In some ways, I consider my work to be in constant evolution. So, every new set of pieces is a new highest point. But I guess that my 2 solo shows in Madrid in 2002 and 2004, and my participation in the 2010 Sao Paolo Art fair have a special place in my heart. You don’t get to be alongside with great contemporary masters like Damien Hirst, Vik Muniz or Joana Vasconcelos every day. Also I am very proud of being part of collections such as the MOLAA Museum of Latin American Art in California, the Everson Museum in New York, and The César Gaviria Trujillo collection (former President of Colombia and Secretary General of the Organization of American States).

"It is not easy to get out of your comfort zone and start from square one. But ultimately everything is for a good reason, and an opportunity to open your mind to new things."
- M.M.
(Continues below)
(Continues below) 
To learn more about Mariana Monteagudo visit her site at: 

Art from Dallas, Ricardo Paniagua Interview

Posted by ArtInterviews Views: 5,881

You just had surgery? Is everything alright? What happened?

Yeah I just had surgery for the second time in my life. The first time they waited until I was awake to remove the catheter so life is improving. I got appendicitis and almost died if it weren’t for Snow White (my girlfriend) telling me to go to the E.R. They rushed me in to surgery and also found a hernia which they fixed at the same time. It went pretty smooth though thankfully.

Do you think this will have any effect on your work?  

Currently I am working on small works due to medical lifting restrictions temporarily on anything over twenty lbs. That is really the only way it is affecting my craft. As it stands I have a solid understanding on the desires of my design capability so I’ll be focusing on reducing my pin stripes to smaller geometric forms.

How is the scene in Dallas?

 The scene in Dallas is actually very healthy at the moment thanks to the Internet. There are some pretty exciting things going on here right now. It seems like a bit of a renaissance of art and culture at the moment. Our down town Dallas arts district now has like more institutional bldgs. Designed by Pritzker accredited people than I think anywhere else or something like that plus we are neighbor cities to Fort Worth which has a world class museum district so in that regard there is never a dull moment. On the grass roots level it’s equally as healthy. There are just enough fresh out of art school art elitist Nazi-like hipsters to keep the critics happy. On the real though, we have Jeremy Strick and Maxwell Anderson really stepping up the programming at The Nasher and The D.M.A. I was blown away to see Katharina Grosse recently for the first time in Dallas. Across the street Mr. Anderson made the Dallas Museum of Art with Free admission. The advent of an annual art fair in recent years here has also spurred added international attention as well as the new programming with Peter Doroshenko at The Dallas Contemporary. So yeah. I’d say it’s been very progressive here.

Is it true you are a high school drop out?

Yes, this is true.  In that regard I am an outsider. Dallas was always very stand-offish towards me for that reason. It’s not a town for outsider artists. My art is not identifiable with that type of jargon, but it’s true. I have a 9th grade high school education and that’s it. The tipping point was when I had to go to alternative school and they wanted to make me pull my pants up, tuck my shirt in and wear a belt. I set my books down and officially dropped out at that point. I believe my conduct with my Algebra teacher led me to alternative school. I figured out a word problem without her formula and got in trouble and then blew up and it all went downhill from there. I used to draw pentagrams on my homework assignments just to mess with her. Such a moron, but a funny moron so time well spent. The only regret about leaving high school was that I couldn’t play my Tenor Saxophone any longer because I could not afford one other than the school provided. I was good at it and loved to play.


must be filtered through in order to become manifest. One of those systems being “math”. But no, Math, to me is not readily identifiable for my work and only pertains to a facet of its overall make-up.

Where are some places you have shown? Any crazy stories?  

In the beginning I used to show my work at bars and sidewalks. I sold some really good pieces for really cheap to drunk people and hope it’s not lost as a result. There was one really rich guy that paid me for a big canvas and he told me that it was going to be a family heirloom. He was pretty cool. I also showed on a side walk across the street from the local contemporary art dealers of dallas 2nd annual art fair back when those people were not my friends. I loaded my truck up, stacked the art in the bed and leaned it on a vacant warehouse wall. The people driving out from the art fair looked and laughed at me. No one stopped. Now, not even ten years later I am starting to show in museums so whateva.

Your work seems pretty mathematical, is it really? 

“Mathematical” is only one form of a lowered manifestation of absolute universal truth. I suppose that there are several veils that the transmission of my work 

"I loaded my truck up, stacked the art in the bed and leaned it on a vacant warehouse wall."
- R.P. 

What has been one of the most valuable things you have learned so far in this life as an artist?

To put art second and life first. I have been working so hard trying to get off the ground with output and innovation in my work for about ten years and have lost personally in different ways. Playing the role of an artist I have also re-affirmed other personal beliefs about life such as endeavoring with an independent outlook. Art has always been about freedom of expression, but once kids starting piddling around with art school and chasing the scene many of them get caught up in trends and the life style (whatever that is) of being an artist which is totally backwards. I have a saying, “life over art” and will always believe in what it can offer.  As far as my craft as an artist is concerned I have benefitted positively with the evolution of my experience in life. 

My art has evolved at some points to very high degrees of tolerance in design and this has cultivated my mental focus in general which has benefitted my life in greater way such as reading the directions on whatever it may be, be it assembling some weird piece of furniture or programming a television without aggravation. Also, I have opened myself up to the complex world of chemicals and how they relate to each other in regards to my various processes which also require greater focus. I don’t really feel I have learned about life as an artist rather my beliefs in and about life have informed my experience positively as an artist for the most part.

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To learn more about Ricardo Paniagua's work check out his Facebook page right here. 

Dallas has a growing art scene and Ricardo Paniagua is a prolific art maker that produces mind blowing works that match his complex personality.