Palos Verdes Art Center Displays A Garden of Excesses
The Palos Verdes Peninsula, with its rolling hills covered with lush trees and fauna, has some of the most beautiful gardens in all of California. It’s a setting fit for the works of artist Ángel Ricardo Ricardo Rios.
This month the Palos Verdes Art Center honors the beauty of nature, with its newest exhibition, A Garden of Excesses. The show features paintings, drawings, and monumental, inflatable sculptures by the artist.
Ricardo Rios presents an abundance of vibrant, breathtaking large-scale paintings. It’s fecund garden bursting with lush foliage rooted in his life in Latin America.
A transplanted Cuban, Ricardo Rios was born in Holguin, and has lived half his life in Cuernavaca, México. “I have been living in Mexico for 24 years, where the city is similar to what you see here in the artwork,” the artist said.
Influenced by the same environment that inspired the art of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, the vivid colors of fruits and blooming plants permeates Ricardo Rios’ creations. His work is a testament to his intense childhood in Cuba, but it shows the colorful experiences the artist has had as an adult in Mexico.
When relocating to Mexico, he arrived in the lush jungles of the Yucatán.
“When I moved to Cuernavaca all this visual experience culminated for me,” Ricardo Rios said. “The union of the location, and the magic and plants came together and began to translate into art work.”
His prior work in Cuba was grounded in the structured art education he received. The nation provides generous support for artists through training, housing and work space. However, the disciplined style of Cuban art did not provide for experimentation. Social themes tended to dominate the style as dictated by the government.
As a young artist Ricardo Rios was part of the generation of the ‘80s, a post-revolutionary generation, born and trained in the revolutionary system. This group began testing its limitations under the watchful eye of a still paranoid young regime, hoping to continue the revolutionary politics of the time.