Sunday, October 15, 2017

Artist interview Rene Ricardo Rocha

What is your name: Rene Ricardo Rocha. My parents gave me 3 R’s. As a child, I developed a speech impediment, and I was unable to say my R’s correctly! Luckily, parents took me to a speech therapist, who helped me correctly pronounce my name.

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist: I benefited from great art teachers growing up. I took every art class I could as a child. My parents really supported my love of art, and they still do to this day. I also studied art at Texas Tech University, in Lubbock, TX. I hope to return to school, and complete a Master’s degree in the near future.

What is the style of your pieces: I’m not really sure? I have always enjoyed the impressionist, and expressionist. I don’t really know what I would call my style, if I even have one? I am heavily influenced by those great artists. I am very physical artist though.

What is the medium in which you work: Paint…all kinds! I just love to paint, and draw. I must say, oil paints are my favorite. Probably, because I learned to paint using them. The smell just breaths creativity. I also enjoy working with charcoal pastels. I like taking a nice thick oil painting, and drawing into the painting with pastels. So much fun!

What started you on your path as an artist: As a child, I was often commended for my artist abilities. In the end, we all just want to please our parents, and teachers. Art provided me with that praise. As I grew as an artist, and a person, art became about self-expression, and a personal narrative. But, I still thrive on the admiration of my family, friends, and peers. I have taught art to middle school students for a decade now. I enjoy showing them my current work, and let them know just how important the art making process is to me. I hope my love for art is carried on through my students.

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: I am not much of a talker. I guess, I am a stereotypical he-man, with no feelings. I have true anxiety when it comes to those sort of things. Even with family. But, my ability to communicate through my artwork, in turn has helped me say things I would otherwise be unable to verbalize.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: As far as performing arts, I love listening to chorales. I participated in choir growing up, and I still appreciate listening to the wonderful harmonies. Each part must fit together just right. Art is funny that way. No matter the chaos, tranquility, or all of the above, the elements must work harmoniously. As far as visual art, I truly appreciate street artists, and mural artists. I paint murals, but mostly in peoples’ homes. I applaud their ability to work on such a grand scale, and in the elements. I’m not a fan of the vandalism aspect though.

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: I haven’t had a solo exhibition in a while. I enjoy submitting, and participating to juried shows, and art festivals. I have found success selling work on my website, and commissions from friends, and people I meet through the website. It keeps me busy, and most importantly creating art! Back in college we used to rent a space on the art trail, buy a keg, and show our art. Those were some fun times. I really appreciated all the feedback from the community. And of course my parents drove in for all of them!

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: I used to wear this blue Jason from Friday the 13th looking jump suit. That was when I was playing the part of an artist. I looked legit! When I paint, I wear a pair of shorts, and an old shirt. Oh, and always shoes. No one shows up to work without shoes, and neither do I! When I step into my studio, I’m all business!

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? As an art teacher, it is frustrating coming in contact with parents, or other educators who don’t see the value of art. I may have a student want to take my class, but their parent wants them to take something “more important” like band for example. Not just in education, but across the board. Art often is seen as no more than a hobby to many.

What is your favorite sandwich of all time: hmm… I had a sandwich in Lima, Peru called La Lucha. The restaurant was called La Lucha, as well. I’m a life-long wrestling fan, so that may have influenced my opinion of the sandwich. Na, it was pretty awesome! The new grilled chicken sandwich at Whataburger is also pretty amazing.

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: Definitely. My work in the past explored my adoption. Mostly trying to find connections between my biological family, and my adopted family. I have used all sort of imagery throughout the years to define this idea, but lately had been using fish, and water. The fish came from the idea of the fish bowl, or tank. I was born in one fish bowl, picked from the bowl, and tossed into a new bowl. Just like a fish at a pet shop. I have no recollection of the first bowl, the new bowl is my new world. This transitioned into waves, and the movement of water. Well recently, my wife and, and I had our first little boy. During her labor, our baby was having a little trouble. His heart rate was sky rocketing, and plummeting up and down throughout the day. It was the most frustrated/ scared I had ever been. I had to try and stay calm, so that my wife could stay calm for our baby. Our doctors and nurses did a wonderful job getting us through labor, and he was born as healthy as can be. A month or so after his birth, I was in my studio painting. Suddenly, the music I was playing began to reflect that erratic heartbeat. I began to draw. A new series of wave paintings began to materialize. What was once a series about my birth, now became about son’s. Full circle.

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: Franz Kline. I used to only paint in black and white, because I loved his work that much.

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: That’s a tough question. Probably the colosseum in Rome. I guess it’s more architecture, but the energy that place emotes is crazy.

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: Haha, great question. I have 3 dogs, and my wife has a bearded dragon as a class pet. It spends half the year at our house though. Creeps me out. My lab Bella is my studio mate. Well, she is my right hand dog. Never leaves my side. I often trip over her while stepping back to see my progress during a painting session.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: No, not at the moment. I am participating in an arts festival in Fort Worth, TX called Arts Goggle this October. I am also showing some work in a small gallery space at a place called the Stage West Theatre as well in January. Other than that, I plan on submitting to a few upcoming shows. Cross my fingers, and hope the juror likes my work!

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