Dwelling into the works of Ricardo Chavez Tovar is like taking a lifelong excursion into a multifaceted adventure with a very disciplined man. It leaves the viewers with no definite conclusion but as your ride delves into substrata, you will permeate into a realm he created for himself and his conscious connection with his muse whom if one notices, occasionally peeks. In the truest sense, studying Ricardo, who has been to most art cities is an iconographer’s nightmare, lest you can uplift yourself to that realm of your subconsciousness. Ricardo in one sentence is an efficient and intellectual purist whose conviction in art is about individuality, and to do it right all the time. Everything is intended, from his art to frame to display or its imperfection thereof. His answers are as unpredictable as the man himself, who does not associate himself with ethnic, gender, religious, political stance or incline to be tied or formulated to one. His forte is installations and assemblages or merry picture making which he faithfully created using a medieval technique of making pictures without the use of cameras, but to expose objects onto light sensitive paper in a darkened room to gather silhouettes which forms the contents ‘lubrique’ to his storyline. Each still, a lead to another, the whole which forms the substance requires patience to achieve depth of field and gradation.
“Tropikal Avant-Dark” is inspired by his lifelong interest in myths, literature and the sacrosanct sacred feminine with her grip on our psyche and body parts. A culmination of his trilogy perhaps? That began with the series ‘The Muse Is Not Available’ which started 19 years ago when he accidentally sojourned to South East Asia and settled here in Malaysia. Ricardo is a lecturer at the Equator Academy of Art, Penang. He did art because it has a soul. And he has never betrayed that belief. That, to him is integrity.
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