Ricardo Angeles


To speak about Ricardo Ángeles´ art is to submerge one´s self in a framework of visual exploration, cultural heritage and creative impulse. Born in the community of San Martín Tilcajete, Oaxaca, he was formally initiated into the creation of art from a very young age through Zapotec symbols, a perspective which turned him into an observer of the primordial forces that his ancestors found in the sky and the earth. The invisible strings between the material, the spiritual and the fantastic, fascinate modern man, perhaps due to the perpetual search to give meaning to our lives. For people outside of Zapotec culture, coming into contact with a kind of art whose beginnings are built upon balance, observation of the cosmos and nature itself, is a transcendental experience.

An important part of his cultural heritage are the Tonas and Nahuales, a concept that he has worked with since childhood thanks to the workshop he grew up in. This fantastical union between creatures is the backbone of Ricardo Ángeles´ work. For him, a being is a complex web of forces that govern its behavior and emotions. Showing a contemporary representation of the tonas and nahuales is, in many ways, uncovering the essence of the spirit as a metaphor for past and present.

To make a physical representation of the spirit, Ricardo turns to the concept of zero gravity. Suspending his figurines in the air is a reflection of being in contact with one´s self and center, far from the paradigm of civilization whose apparent objective is to automate existence: levitation is sacred and divine.

From 6 years of age, Ricardo Ángeles learned the artisan’s noble craft. In his parents´ workshop, he learned to develop the entire creative process from carving to painting, the latter being that which has defined his present and as his indelible mark, has inspired him to create works whose content is a contemporary representation of Zapotec world view.

The care and attention to detail with which Ricardo Ángeles develops his pieces has led him to explore muralism, passing first through printing, drawing, painting, design and sculpture. He began by decorating the walls in San Martín and from there has let his imagination take him elsewhere. In a sense, in every place he paints a mural, he leaves memories of San Martín Tilcajete: its beginnings, culture and roots. These memories become promises, to continue searching for one´s self and to give meaning to existence. Exploring creation is to look in the mirror, break with normalcy and never look back except to observe our own actions and see the traces of what has been learned along the way.

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