Ricardo A. Bonilla

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Union, June 2007 Acrylic On Canvas 28x48" © 2007
New Vase, February 01, 2004 Pencil On Paper 24x18" © 2004
Fernando, October 03, 1999 Acrylic On Canvas 36x24" © 1999
The Visit, September 21,1999 Acrylic On Canvas 47.5x23.5" © 1999
Quick Facts
Birth year
Lives in
San Jose
Works in
San Francisco
non-profit, arts-education, nonprofit, surrealism, modern, digital, figurative

Nicaraguan born — San Francisco based artist, Ricardo Bonilla's curiosity in art originates from and was influenced by his mother's interest in fine art and her career as an architect in his home land, Nicaragua. 
Art as play naturally progressed into therapy during the teenage years as he necessitated a way to cope with family hardships and dissatisfaction with High School culture.

10th grade Geometry class provoked the usage of rulers and an alertness to planes, dimensions, lines, shapes and volumes within everything he saw at that time — causing a departure from cartoon-like figures and the advent of a geometric environment with a mature subject matter.

Progression proceeded to portray a world where figures possessed a combination of human, inanimate object, animal and plant parts. Ricardo became fascinated by how well everything integrated so perfectly and the notion of a human, being a figure that contained male and female parts as well as that of objects and creatures in its environment.

Doubts and fear with his ability to use color translated into an extended period of black and white pencil compositions. It was until 1999, at the San Francisco Art Institute, that he was forced to embrace color and create his first painting, "The Visit" (based on the equally titled drawing created in 1999). However, a strong presence of white paint resembled a continued attachment to black and white and a restatement that he was a novice painter. Around this time, Ricardo seized to draw to improve his ability to paint.

Two years later, a return to SFAI marked the departure of white as a highlight color and a near utter removal from his palette; this gave forthcoming artwork a richer body and Ricardo, a new satisfaction and reason to proceed to paint.

Ricardo seeks to transform nearly 400 drawings from his teenage years into paintings.

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