Image courtesy of the artist.
Art became the outlet for Ramon Antonio Reyes to pour his endless reservoir of energy into. He was born in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela in 1978 and at 8, won his first drawing contest while attending the Fragachan Narciso School. At 17, he produced his first group show under the direction of acclaimed artist Ramon Morales and a year later, began studies in Fine Arts at the Experimental University for the Arts in Caracas. During his final year, he was called home to care for his mother who had become ill.
While taking charge of the family and of her care, his career took off. He opened a gallery. His creations were in demand. In 2007, he established ‘Sorocaima,’ a Foundation for Children. His goal was so “children could find and explore their own artist within,” he says, just as his parents had allowed him to do. His mother gave him free reign to use the walls and ceiling of his bedroom as his own personal canvas, to draw and paint as he wished. One week, it was horses and fish; the next, the faces of family and friends.
In 2009, on the Children’s Playground at Foundation Park in Bolivar, Venezuela, he donated his creation of a life-sized elephant made entirely of recycled tires. His life of art and success in his native country prospered until one particular day in 2010. Under the growing dictatorship of President Hugo Chavez, property seizures became a tragic common occurrence. One day military officials informed Reyes he had too much and seized his properties, home, gallery, car and many possessions. In the aftermath of such a loss, he scrambled to regain footing and left to work in Europe.
There, he began a series of exhibitions, in Belgium and Spain, then returned closer to Venezuela working in Colombia and Brazil. In advance of Carnival season in Rio de Janeiro, he was selected to lead a University team on the design of an elaborate parade float.
In 2011, life seemed to regain some sense of normalcy. He accepted a position teaching Fine Arts at the University of Guadalajara campus in Villahermosa, Mexico, and soon after, opened his own, small gallery adjacent to his home. Whatever he created, people wanted. His exhibitions, which featured all forms of art and his love of body painting became must-see events. Television, newspapers and magazines covered him in the style of a celebrity.
He answered the calling to come to the U.S. in early 2015 and chose the artistically-rich, culturally diverse backdrop of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana as home. He’s learning English, with a myriad of classes and has dived into his new surroundings where he continues to create art and become an active member of the arts community.
- 2009 “Artists of my land” Kollack Gallery, Venezuela
- 2010 “ l Mario Abreu” Contemporary young artists, Museum of Contemporary Art, Venezuela
- 2007 Recycled material “Goddess of the waters” Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela
- 2008 Series of sculptures from recycled material “Imagery” Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela
- 2009 Life-sized elephant sculpture from recycled tires for children’s playground, “Foundation Park” Bolivar, Venezuela
- 2010 Carnival floats, “Three powers of my land” and “Liberator Bolivar Father” Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela
- 2011 Carnival floats, Rio de Janiero, Brazil
- 2012 “Predictions 2012” Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela
- 2013 “America Cantat 7” Bogotá, Colombia
- 2013 “On the water” Carlos Pellicer Museum, Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico
- 2013 “Orchids of Mexico” Cultural Center, Villahermosa Tabasco, Mexico; Works and workshops in drawing and painting, State Human Rights commission
- 2013 “Horses” Single Collection, Beernem, Belgium
- 2014 “Retrospective” Galería de Arte Gómez Ventura del Hotel Quinta Real, Tabasco, Mexico
- 2014 Professor of Fine Arts, University of Guadalajara, Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico
- 2015 The Foyer, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- 2015 The Guru, Exhibition, Angels and Abstract, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- 2016 Mark Biletnikoff Gallery, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- 2016 Brand New Orleans Art Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana
Reyes will create on almost any surface, whether traditional canvas, wood or plexiglass. His art is known for it’s color and heavy texture and he will work with any type of paint, whether oil, acrylic, water color or car paint. His use of fabrics and recycled materials often give real dimension and life to a canvas.
By using various forms available whether canvas, wood board or a textured creation on a hard surface, the use of oil, acrylic, water color, even car paint primer can give a subject a vivid or subtle glow. Texture and use of recycled materials such as different textured fabrics with paints and glue adds dimension and life. It may be all about the texture, color or a combination.