I am primarily a painter and draftsman, but in the past few years I have begun delving more thoroughly into installation, video work, and a synthesis of these multi-media. The images submitted in this application only represent the painting/drawing aspects of my work, though all are integral to one another. Painting and drawing are an extension of my thinking and quasi-veritable storytelling, a conceptual exercise in making ideas visible, a way of bringing ideas to life as visual fiction.
My work reads as a reconciliation of opposites between the private and the public. In other words, it is a codified puzzle of images that continues to grow and develop, drawing from my personal experience as well as from the public domain. There is a distinct conversation taking place with the works of other artists from history and the present, with authors from the world of literature, film, music, philosophy, as well as with current geo-sociopolitical events. This I weave into stories, parables, mythic cautionary tales of sorts, making use of fragmented narratives that often provide a viewer the before and/or after of a story without ever fully revealing what actually took place. I give a viewer the task of navigating an elusive place where the complexities of interpersonal relationships, our human conditions, are placed as if on a stage and open to interpretation. This allows me to point a finger at viewers, or, rather, for viewers to turn the narratives on themselves, their motives and preconceptions.
My painted work is evolving into larger scale suites, where dozens of smaller images make up a larger whole. Cinematic in its scope, this strategy allows me to experiment with non-linear narratives. Each small piece becomes a single word or phrase within a larger poem or book. Stories unfold, characters develop, things happen, as they do in works of literary fiction.
Artist Bio / CV
Raul J. Mendez Education1997 BFA Painting and Drawing, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR. Selected Solo Exhibitions 2012 SUM Gallery, Portland, OR 2010 The Society for the Preservation of Lost Things & Missing Time presents: FLORIDA ARCANE, Miami-Dade Public Library, Miami, FL 2009 This is Nowhere, Art&Culture Center of Hollywood, FL 2008 (NEGATIVESPACE), 2020 Projects, Miami, FL 2006 A Falling Sky, Ambrosino Gallery, Miami, FL2005 Minor Transgressions, Beaker Gallery, Tampa, FLThe Failure of Knowing, Ambrosino Gallery, Miami, FL2004 Fictions, Pacific Switchboard Gallery, Portland, OR Selected Group Exhibitions 2012 DayJob, PNCA & Albright College (via The Drawing Center) 2011 South Florida Biennial, Hollywood, FL 59th All Florida Juried Exhibition, Boca Raton Museum of Art 2010 New Work Miami 2010:Video, Miami Art Museum, Miami, FLSelections (“Day Job”), The Drawing Center, NY, 2007 SCOPE BASEL, Basel, SwitzerlandBalelatina, Basel, SwitzerlandSCOPE NY, Ambrosino Gallery, New York, NY Hollywood Art & Culture Center Biennial, Hollywood FL Recent Paintings,2020, Miami FL2006 Recent Drawings, 2020, Miami, FL ArteAmericas, Miami, FL RxArt Ball, Curated by Susan Delehanty, New York, NY PULSE Art Fair, Ambrosino Gallery, Miami, FL2005 MANIFESTO(one), Ambrosino Gallery, Miami, FL International Kids Fund Invitational Auction, Miami Art Central,Miami, FL ArtBasel Miami Beach, Ambrosino Gallery, Miami Beach, FL 2004 Picante, Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, Athens, GA