If you’ve been into Motion Gallery in the last three years, you will have seen large portraits by Rick Rosario hanging on our walls, and you may most likely have read some of the articles he has written for the gallery too. It pleases us to introduce Rick to you this month, since he is a solid fixture in our family of artists.
Rick grew up in Manitoba, describing life there as colours, “like greens, browns, yellow and some charcoal grey, with a dash of digital #CC6600.” He is also inspired by Manitoba artists Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline, Marcel Dzama, Cliff Eyland, Sarah Anne Johnson, with a touch of Guy Maddin, telling us, “Being a first generation Canadian, I’ve been challenging the ideas of biculturalism and exploring ways to share my experiences and observations.”
What Rick remembers most as a child was that he would draw everything he would draw everything he could get his hands on, from illustrations in books to ornaments in his mother’s china cabinet. Even though his father was a culinary chef, he spent a lot of his time creating architectural drawings with graphite sticks. Rick tells us, “He taught me how to hold a pencil for the use of drawing, and how to capture an essence of shapes through gesture drawings, in particular the human face. I also spent a lot of time learning how to create origami, which I learned from my Lolo (Grandpa).”
Taking a stroll and exploring his surroundings is his greatest source of inspiration. He tells us, “Whether I’m traveling abroad or visiting the local market, I usually find myself taking pictures, jotting down ideas, or using a voice recorder to try and encapsulate the source of inspiration that hits me in that moment in time.” Influenced by all types of artists, he tends to gravitate towards works that trigger a conscious and introspective response.
PROSPERITY IN THE PRAIRIES
BICORNE (1789 - 99)
RUNDLE AND HER REFLECTION IN VERMILLION
“These days I find myself referencing works from Marcel Duchamp, Egon Schiele, Marlene Dumas, Andrew Salgado, and Jenny Saville. Trying to understand why I connect with their work, strongly influences how I approach a painting. Combining the influence from other artists, and fusing the influences with the surroundings that I record, help set the foundation where I let my curiosity guide the path to the my work.”
In some cases, the faces Rick paints are distorted or blurred. He enjoys painting the human figure, because he finds its reflection of the human condition fascinating.
He tells us the focus of his work isn’t directly on the narrative, but more on the connection he has as the observer. “…the observer isn’t fixed on a timeline unlike a story with a beginning, middle and end. You can experience a painting on your own terms and draw value through your own interpretation.” He will often focus on directing his efforts towards connecting others through his work.
A perfect day for Rick, is when he can throw himself into his art without thinking about it too much, and there are some days he can find a deep connection with works from other artists and is not caught up in the self conscious notion of being an artist.
Rick’s ultimate dream as an artist is not just self-expression, storytelling or even a fortune of wealth. He admits he would be lying if he said he didn’t want to be just a little famous. Mostly it’s about self fulfillment. He explains, “It’s something that I feel I need to do as a human being; It’s something that is in me that I need to respond to. It’s about taking the inspiration that I get from the world around me, and creating something tangible.”
Check out Rick’s website:
Written by Sandra Montgomery
Edited by Renee Laferriere