Ricardo Mulero: A Shared State Of Mind
A captured moment in a painting prolongs an emotional state. Through my art, I like to capture a personal point of view in the hope to elicit an emotional response from the viewer. Perhaps, a picture can only to be completed by a viewer’s sentiment, an exchange.
I was fortunate to grow up in Caguas, a valley in Puerto Rico shaped by its people, traditions, history, and natural beauty — enhanced by the constant backdrop of its surrounding mountains. I have a vivid memory of the impact natural light had in transforming the familiar environment in the course of a day. At a young age, I began painting under the supervision of the Spanish painter, Don Luis Bouzà. My painting became sporadic during my college years. It wasn’t until 2014, while teaching interior design at Parsons School of Design, that I enrolled in an oil painting class, which rekindled my passion for painting.
Today, I work as a designer and painter in New York City. Three unique environments have inspired my artwork: Puerto Rico, where I grew up, and New York City
and Fire Island, where I currently reside. Recently, frequent trips and the resonance of the natural landscape of the Hudson River Valley have also impacted my work.
In my exhibition design work, I have synthesized powerful narratives into relevant immersive experiences for history museums, such as the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City and the Field Museum in Chicago.
As an artist, an intimate part of me goes on display with every painting. I strive to express an emotion or mood in my paintings, rather than producing a photographic image. At times, a finished painting may result in quasi-realistic depictions of plausible scenarios. An early oil painting, Man-in-the-Box, a large portrait of a figure, conveys my discomfort with entrapment (physical and emotional). It was interesting to hear viewers’ comments regarding Man-in-the-Box. Some thought the man seemed to be at peace, others said they thought the painting was beautiful, another person simply said: “that’s freaky, you know.”
Some of my paintings, such as Invisible City are inspired by literature (Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities) and New York City. The concept behind Invisible City is that viewers may see something slightly different while finding the City hidden in the brush strokes. My love of water towers and New York City rooftops is a recurring theme in my work, as seen in Chelsea Sunrise and 41st & 10th. Strong geometric compositions and unusual viewing angles are predominant elements in my artwork. A slight manipulation of angle and a deliberate use of color in unexpected ways can enhance getting a point across visually.
The dynamic coexistence of natural and constructed environments has inspired paintings like A Traves de Andamios and The New Bulkhead. Ambiguity of the edge between land and water in the marshlands of South Carolina shaped Lowcountry, a commissioned oil painting. Homage to the Majestic Hudson, an impression of the Hudson River looking west, was inspired by a drive to Hudson, New York in the winter of 2016.
In my oil paintings, I employ the Venetian method of layering colors to impart luminosity and depth. I prepare my own surfaces, making each panel distinct with its own marks and characteristics. Light, in my work, is key in creating a mood, a focal point, and a viewer’s path into a painting. I have shown my work in solo and group exhibitions in New York City and Puerto Rico. I find that every painting is an opportunity to explore, discover, experience, grow, and evolve.
Ricardo Mulero is a new Member to GCCA. His artwork is included in the 2018 Salon and COPING exhibits. Visit ricardomulerodesign.com for more about Ricardo Mulero and his work.