Whether he is painting the hero or the underdog, Ricardo has a unique ability to capture stories of both pleasure and pain, filling the image with so much emotion and detail. Through his own relationship and struggles with mental health, Ricardo is passionate about sharing this in his work, recognising and facing those demons with hope, positivity and kindness.
Through his work we understand that we are all hero’s, we are all hurting, we are all in need of our tribe no matter what age.
UA: As an unfinished animal what is the driving message or idea you're creating and sharing through your art?
RC: I tried to make a simple life, with no unsettling feelings and bad moments. And after 15 years acting like that and spending all my energy working, my body and mind said "enough” and I suffered a huge exhaustion and depression after that. So during therapy I understood feelings are necessary to be alive and being a person. Bad feelings as well. So now I try to show that bad feelings are also normal, and necessary. And at the same time I want to talk about mental health.
UA: What has your work taught you about people and the human experience in our ever changing and busy world?
RC: Well, my work is about “vomiting” all the info I have been keeping in my mind. That info comes from reality, from daily life. I scan the stress, people, the sky, the cars, the ground… And all that info is what I use later in my work. Observing people as I do made me be able to “read” people. Just with a glance I can get so much information, also because I pay attention on all those small details.
UA: How do you keep yourself and your work evolving?
RC: Not thinking too much about that actually. If you are obsessed about making your work evolve, it won’t be a natural path. It’s just about feeling free to openly add the new inputs you receive in life. If I’m lately obsessed with Japanese culture and comic, I will let this inspiration conquer my work. If in a year I will be very interested on, let’s say, dinosaurs, I will let the dinosaurs to invade my work.
UA: How would you like people to connect with your work?
RC: I would like people to read the feelings I try to show in my work. Not only the visual part. And I think I am able to do this to people. I think they always find the speech about feelings I’m trying to add in my work.
UA: Do you think we can empower people through art?
RC: Absolutely yes. Art has always been a unique way to get through to people. Like music does. There is something primitive, or even biological that allows people to let art and music flow through them. So, yes, if you want to empower people through art, it's just about choosing the right message and channel.
UA: What impact do you think your work has or could have on culture and humanity?
RC: Uh, that question is not for me. I’m not sure. I just see the trees. I don’t see the shape of the forest, and even less I can’t see how that forest can impact on people. I intend to create an energy so people can feel represented in my work and to feel better. I’ve seen lately people think their problems are unique, but if you talk about having the same problems or situations, or thoughts, they feel better, because they understand they are not alone. We need to not feel alone.
UA: Where do you find inspiration when you’re not feeling inspired?
RC: I like to see photos. I spend some time on Instagram finding photographers and I can always find a good story based on a portrait. I think “People” are the best source of inspiration to me.
UA: When do you feel most alive and being your best self?
RC: I love the feeling when I’m painting a mural. These big works are especially attractive to me. And even better, lately I’m allowed to paint regarding mental health in one or another way. And that’s the best feeling :)
Thank you Ricardo!
If you’re in London be sure to go and check out Ricard'o’s exhibition, ‘Hero’s Wound’, at Stolen Space until 02.06.19.