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Finding Beauty Everywhere: An Interview with Ricardo Maldonado

On Friday night, July 8th, at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, Ricardo Maldonado opened his show “De Aquí y de Allá” to the public. He is an artist originally from Spain who has been in Boston for many years. With bold, contrasting colors and images of familiar scenes in nature, Maldonado invited guests to appreciate the natural beauty around them. We had some time to speak with Ricardo, where he explained his work and process.

So, tell us a little bit about yourself and about your exhibition, how did you come into painting?
“My father used to paint watercolors, I painted watercolors when I was a child, and for many years I didn’t paint, and just a few years ago I started again. I feel like why not, it’s wonderful. So I kept going. I paint because I love it, and it seems to be like a break to feel better and create some beauty for other people to enjoy.”

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Guests admiring the works.

We see that there are a lot of elements from different countries, so what inspires you?
“Anything that is beautiful in nature, no matter where it’s from, I love it.  The purpose of this show is to show that you can find beauty anywhere, depending on the colors and the shapes, or the season you’re in, it doesn’t matter, it’s still beautiful.”

“Bosque de Bambu,” Acrylic on canvas, 24” x 24”

“Bosque de Bambu,” Acrylic on canvas, 24” x 24”

What does the name of the show “De Aquí y de Allá” mean to you?
“Well, the title means for many of us who are not from here, there is always in the back of your mind the idea whether things are better, over there or here. Or, if things are different. And the purpose of this is to show there is beauty everywhere, no matter where you are. That’s what — here and there, aquí y allá.”

Do you travel a lot to get your inspiration?
“I do love to travel. I’ve been throughout America and I know several countries. Latin America, Central America as well, Spain. Also, some of the inspiration comes from New England, especially Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts. They are beautiful places to contemplate and to paint.”

Do you actually go and sit with a canvas, or do you paint from memory?
“It’s a bit of both. I like to take pictures. And I start with a picture and what I see in front of me, and I start it out in the outdoors and then I finish it at home. So it’s a mixture.”

What do you want people to feel when they see your paintings or when they have your painting?
“I like people to feel that life is beautiful, all over, no matter where you are or what you’re looking at, especially in nature. And there’s so many different things to admire, regardless of where you are.”

“A Tamaño Natural,” Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 40”

“A Tamaño Natural,” Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 40”

That’s great. That’s a huge amount of work you’ve done, you’ve been very inspired.
“I have time, I’m not in a hurry. I like to do it at my own pace, sometimes it comes really nice, sometimes it doesn’t. You’re only looking at the ones I think they were nice. So, it’s just a great way to spend time.”

Your style has a lot of contrast, a lot of bright colors, is that something you want people to feel? The intensity?
“I think when we look at nature, there are many more things that we know and appreciate but I think we can strive to observe, appreciate, differently and be open to what’s around us.”

If you would like to take a piece of “aquí y allá” with you, his work is for sale through our online storeIt was so nice getting to hear about the inspiration behind the show from the artist himself.

“De Aquí y de Allá” will be on display at La Galería until August 29th. To see the show yourself, please schedule a viewing with Elsa Mosquera at emosquera@ibaboston.org or (617) 927-1737.

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