Ricardo Mondragon is a Mexican artist and music composer born and raised in Mexico City (1984). He resides in Chicago, Illinois. Ricardo graduated with a Post-Baccalaureate of Arts in Music Composition at Columbia College Chicago. He runs two studios where different installations, prints, silkscreen paintings and sculpture fabrication are realized. Ricardo's art flirts exploring different possibilities on frequency, waveforms, harmony, matter color and light.
How do you describe your work?
Harmony into matter. A series of Harmonic Perspectives through different interpretations.
What’s your preferred medium to express yourself and you work? How did you come into working that way?
I do not have a preferred medium. I actually like to explore different mediums every time. I like to work with bronze, glass, aluminum, Steel, Carbon Fiber, wood, etc. But lately I've been working a lot with Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS Plastic) and Nylon, because of 3d printers and mainly because it's cheap.
Where did you grow up and do you think that’s affected, at all, your vision as an artist?
I grew up in Mexico City. Born and raised. This definitely affected my perspective, which I feel it has expressed a lot in my color palette, like Intense Magentas (Rosa Mexicano, my favorite color). Also, living in mexico exposes you to a lot of culture which goes hand in hand with art.
What triggers your imagination?
life in general. Everything for me is an inspiration, could be the light reflected on a window, a bird chirping away, The Oval shape of my Cats Eye, anything really. I do not understand people that get bored. Just look at a flower, there is so much depth around us.
What are some instagram accounts or artists that you particularly enjoy / are inspired from?
that's a good question! @fuckadvertisments @davidhenrynobodyJR @C74connect @Geosteinmetz @_Revok_ @alphachanneling @Jacquespepinfoundation @Pablo.Rochart @Sainthoax @lookatthisrussian @Librarystreetcollective @Stormkingartcenter @Van_minnen and many more. Obviously @TAXcollection. I am serious about this, it's a great account and you guys were one of the first art instagrams I started following. Very well curated.
What was your dream growing up as a child?
Playing death metal in Norway haha.
What has become most important to you or your work at this moment in your life?
I've been trying to express phenomena that it's hard to visualize in terms of sound, like micro-rhythms, cluster chords or acoustic resonance between complex frequencies;The Microcosmos that resides in short tight spaces bouncing away. It's important for me to express these forms into shapes or images that seem familiar and accurate while transforming them into something beautiful with delicate materiality.
Is there any specific moment(s) or memory in your life that pushed you definitively towards the arts or to pursue your creative ambitions?
Not really. It wasn't like an "aha moment" or something that happened that made me drift into the arts. I wish I had a more interesting answer or a meaningful story. I was just always attracted to the arts and there wasn't really a choice for me. It's been a modus vivendi since I can remember.
What does your work mean to you? If anything at all?
It means freedom. It means a way to try understand this complex world we live in. It's my world where I get to do whatever the hell I want. I just want to make a little bit of sense of what's happening around me. Being a human it’s a strange thing, as you well know.
What is your definition of ‘art’, even if it’s total bullshit?
Something spiritual. Maybe a Mixture of some sort. Mixing things into something Aesthetically pleasing.
Anything coming up we should know about?
Of course! I am doing an installation with the Louisville Orchestra in January, which I am very excited about. The Organizers are KyCAD independent, an art college in Louisville Kentucky, which is pushing the arts forward in this fantastic state. in this particular project, they commissioned several artists to make installation work with the Louisville orchestra. I was fortunate to be one of them.
I also have my first solo show at Adlai Stevenson Gallery in theSouth side of Chicago. They are giving me two stories to place all my art work, which I am very happy to do because I can fit anymore in my studio. Also, I am giving some art talks at Lincolnshire High school in Chicago in January as well. I am also participating in a Residency at Chicago Artists Coalition in October.