Welcome to the online exhibition space for the work of Rico, a multi-media artist who lives reclusively and creates art defiant of categorization near Joshua Tree National Park in California, USA.
Now approaching 70 years of age, Rico left the gallery and public venue scenes several years ago—not due to age—but, in his own words, “…to make a personal dent in the capitalist model.”
Rico believes that because mobility and electronic media are so commonplace in modern society, fine art needs no longer exist exclusively for people of relative wealth. Galleries, he insists, are run by delightful people with multiple degrees in business, perhaps some curatorial skills, but rarely any passion for the work itself. And patrons all too frequently buy art based on how effectively it's publicized, where it's being shown, or because it’s recommended by a broker as an investment strategy. “Ideally,” Rico comments, “there is a deep, almost transcendental connection for the person experiencing the piece before them. Beyond that, nothing else matters. Unfortunately, along with archetypal display spaces come insane dollar figures, out of proportion egos, layer upon layer of glitz and glam complicating and subtracting from the purity of that experience.”
Primarily an oil on canvas artist through the '70's and '80's, Rico's impressionist/surrealist style and medium interests shifted dramatically upon meeting El, a professor of fine art at UC Irvine and later his mentor at Santa Monica College.
Rico's current body of work includes experimental assemblage pieces on canvas and sheetrock, oil on sheetrock, ink on paper, bamboo art, photography, sound art and film.
His work has sold to private collectors in the United States and abroad for more than three decades.