2018 E.A.S.T ARTIST HIGHLIGHT | Ricardo Valenzuela
We're exploring the world of the dozens of local artists featured at MMAC’s 2018 EAST gallery and their mediums. The goal of this series is to shed light on real-life Central Texas artists exploring what & why they create.
We'd love to share with our readers who you are and what your art is all about! Tell us about yourself and work!
I am a native Texan currently working as a designer for Project C, a digital ad agency that specializes in marketing for entertainment. My background includes studying drawing at Texas State, cartooning and booking music shows in town. In my work, I find myself building a nightmare fantasy world constructed on my beliefs about God, The Devil, Greed, Love, Ecstasy, Revenge, Mental Health, and Violence.
Your work feels very charged and has great energy! How do you choose to create what you create? Do you feel that your pieces tell a story?
Thanks! Charged is exactly what I’m going for. It can be a great investment of time and resources for someone to go see art in person, so I always want to try my hardest and make good on that investment. I think about the things I like as a viewer. I like solving mysteries and clues so I’m trying to bring more of that sensation into my work. The denizens of my work have taken on the shape of panicked demons and bulging brutes. I think this reflects the society we live in. Trying to find grace in a world full of obscure systems and liars. The scenes are bizarro versions of things I see happening in our world. There definitely is a story building, I think that’s the funnest part for me, seeing that develop and trying to find ways to convey specific beats to the viewer. Too obvious is no fun and too detailed makes people skip.
“It’s important for the Austin community to recognize the change that’s happening in the city and look out for each other. Austin to me is an ideal place to find your voice. “
So, this is the East Austin Studio Tour. What are your feelings on being an artist in East Austin?
I have lived in Austin my whole life and still feel like I don’t know it completely. I think that’s a sign that I’m still where I need to be. It has a little bit of everything which is really beautiful. It’s important for the Austin community to recognize the change that’s happening in the city and look out for each other. Austin to me is an ideal place to find your voice.
CHECK AT MORE OF RICARDO’S WORK ON HIS WEBSITE!
ABOUT BIG MEDIUM’S EAST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR:
Big Medium's East Austin Studio Tour (EAST) is a free, annual, self-guided art event spanning two weekends in November. EAST provides opportunities for the public to meet the artists and artisans of Austin in their creative spaces.