Dominic Ramirez is from Bakersfield, California and has spent most of his life there. Due to the notably bad air quality of his hometown, growing up he spent most of his time inside nurturing both his imagination and drawing skills, creating an escape from his reality. Ramirez is greatly influenced by pop culture and his three older brothers and strives to use his art practice to share his personal story and interests with the world. Focusing on the human figure and utilizing color, texture, scale, and mixed media he is able to create images that are personal to himself and engaging to those who observe his work. Ramirez primarily works with oil and acrylic paint, ink, graphite, shellac, and oil pastels. He is currently focused on presenting the human form in a way that is simultaneously graceful and brutal, in order to express the hand-in-hand relationship of pain and beauty.
As an artist I find that some of the most beautiful aspects of life can come from the ugliest of moments and events. Tragedy, pain, and suffering can lead to acceptance, understanding, and growth. I try to relate this concept to the viewer in my work by utilizing certain color palettes, the graceful nature of the human form, and scale. Using a large size surface for my paintings is a way for me to really demand the attention of those who look at my body of work in a visual and physical way.
The spatial interaction between the painting and observer is important because in order to get the full scope of the composition you must back away from the piece but then you have to come closer in order to see the full detail of line and texture. I strive to depict the figure in a way that shows a flow of raw energy, like a dancer, but then I contort the body into seemingly impossible poses, showing that pain and beauty can go hand in hand.
The palette I use is based on a range of flesh tones that I find to be both calming and discomforting. The intermingling of soft pink hues alongside dark bruised purples give a balance of harmony and chaos. With the composition of the figures and the colors that are used, I want the viewers to find themselves in a state between tranquility and tension as they engage with each painting.
The 2020 Irwin Scholars are
Aarón Martínez, Anastasia Oleson, Angel Gonzales, Chloe Murr, Dominic Ramirez, Edgar Cruz, Emma McWaid, Jocelyn Lee, Joshua Zupan, Morgan Tomfohr, Natalie Del Castillo, Rodrigo Ramos, Veriche Blackwell