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moderndallas.net
Special “Eye” to Watch
June Mattingly // contributing art writer

Ricardo Paniagua
in a group show
at the MADI Museum at 3109 Carlisle through through July 10


This is one in my series of exciting emerging and/or experimental Texas artists without gallery
representation with a fresh approach. Ricardo has been seriously painting for nearly a decade.  
Not only do I respect his wish to exceed in his profession, I like his art, starting with the traffic-
stopping outdoor public mural on the building on Elm Street in Deep Ellum in downtown Dallas
close to where he lives. It extends itself as a way to express his “larger than life concepts.”
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“Tiger Style #2” 2011, enamel and lacquer on canvas, 15 x 15 inches
The Key," 2011, ???????????????? 10 x 10 x 10 inches   
To catch the exuberance of this primarily self-taught, self-motivated artist, “I know serious
people want to see an M.F.A. accredited to a serious artist, so I’m fearful of divulging the
truth.” Born in 1981, he was born and raised in Dallas, “fended” for himself and dropped
out of high school in the second month of his sophomore year. Around age 20 he
discovered the “limitless potential” of making art by working with a mentor with an
M.F.A. and a studio and “hanging around intelligent thinkers as a way to satisfy
my thirst for knowledge.”   
His smaller scale works comprise several avenues of exploration; the major portion of
which consists primarily of new paintings, wherein he utilized various disciplined
aspects and applications which lend themselves towards the Op Art, Minimalist,
Constructivist and MADI Art “a rambunctious style of geometric abstraction
derived of constructivist and De Stijl inventions.”  His fascination with hard
edged imagery and design concept run them parallel with each other. His
paintings on wood he refers to as “Los Cuates” meaning “The Twins” consist of
three-dimensional geometric shapes on a two-dimensional plane. He proceeds
to cut along the outer edge to reveal irregular, mathematically correct shapes,
painted patterns and color choices reminiscent of Pop Art and illusory depth.
Each layout is “inspired phenomena in my day to day observations and
contemplations from within the natural and manmade worlds.” Finally, he
inverts the finished paintings into pairs or “Los Cuates” as a memento to
his twin sister Jessica.    
“Technological Marvel” 2011,  enamel on canvas 72 x 43inches
“Humans are never portrayed in my work, neither are landscapes, they are tired. I work in Miniature and Oversize. My smallest work was a construction 2 x 5 inches and my largest
was 100 x 15 feet on canvas. It’s rolled up right in storage, it took almost 100 gallons a
paint. I don’t prefer either, I like both. I’d like to experience as much as possible while
I’m walking around the big old bad ass rock.”

This exhibit is funded by the Texas Commission for the Arts, Office of Cultural Affairs of the
City of Dallas and Kilgore Law Firm.
When he did this mural, he did it in the spirit of the MADI principal that art should be “out
of the frame.” He states that if he painted every paintable square inch of this four sided building it would
become a large sculpture or in essence a Duchamp-ian “readymade”
art object. This project consumed three “grueling” summer months which is hard to tell
the art exudes so much love of life and creative energy.