Artist Statement – Carlos Ramirez
My work is a visual record of the world around me; capturing those moments that have become rooted in my memory. I am not interested in replicating nature, but rather the bits and pieces that have struck a cord with me.
I tend to work large, starting with bold black ink sketches that reference organic shapes. I then obscure parts with multiple layers of broken color. I work back and forth in this manner developing a thick build up of paint in some areas while others remain thin and open. Washes contrast with impasto and interplay with the loose drawings within the piece.
The essence of my work is exploring the beauty that is present in the natural world. In this process I take in what draws me to nature and bring it back to the canvas via my own voice.
“In our rushed, modern life paintings can have a way of softening our man-made environments. Through the interplay of line and color I strive to balance the harmony and chaos that exists in the natural world. I am heavily influenced by nature and find that connection constantly reflected in my paintings.”
Carlos Ramirez was born in Cuba, for political reasons his family moved to the United States when he was a child. Growing up Carlos was focused on drawing and painting, but as the only child of an immigrant family, his parents were concerned that he have a structured profession, rather than take a chance on a career as an artist. In college he focused on drawing and drafting in the hopes of pursuing an architectural degree, but at the last minute, due to the prodding of his father, he applied to law school.
He received a full scholarship to the University of Miami Law School, where he excelled but soon realized his heart was not in it. In his last year he left the program to follow a vision of putting a fashion collection together. “I applied all of my drawing, sketching and design skills to this new endeavor,” he notes. At age 23, he established the label Liancarlo, and today he is a highly recognized designer in the fashion world. The label has dressed dozens of celebrities, and his work has been featured in countless fashion magazines.
Throughout the years, he became a designer by day, painter by night, taking workshops with such greats as painter Wolf Kahn—making time to pursue this life long passion. He continues to paint from his studio a 1920’s cottage surrounded by a garden that is his constant inspiration. His paintings have grown over the years from representational work to the large and ambitious abstractions of today.
“This work in painting that I am doing now is a part of my evolution, and it is a natural progression from drawing into something more liberating and adventurous. But even more, it allows me to speak from a different place than before, in a whole new language… and often when I get to work on my painting, I have no clue what to do next, and then, it’s almost as if by magic, things begin to happen…. “