The Spanglish Artist
By Roxana Rojas-LuzonArtist/JournalistTLAL
English version proofread by: Judith Levine
Sandra habla about everything, about people, feelings, emotions, artists, cultures, countries. Just as she talks, she creates. She creates "lunatic" plants and animals in playful and vibrant colors, and abstract textiles out of reusable materials such as vinyl and fabric. She reflects about the lack of time to create when one has a big family. "And I'm sorry that other ‘sublime’ professions (like doctors cure, lawyers fight for justice) are recognized and remunerated careers ... but art is not," she says.
Sandra Perez Ramos invents cats, birds, trees and hearts, among other things, and makes them interesting to the eye and to the imagination. She raises three children, two girls who are still in elementary school and a son who is almost an adult. And she does voluntary work for artists' organizations (TLAL, WAP, MAA, Gallery 209), a "very intense work and at the same time super personalmente satisfatorio", she assures.
Going for a walk with her family and ending up taking pictures of the mushrooms that appeared after the rain is not uncommon in her life. "Inspiration comes from EVERYTHING. I love Nature and its rarities. I find it ridiculous to call myself an artist and to be isolated, or not to be consciente, to be without being moved by all the other creative currents (architecture, industrial design, decorative arts, ceramics, wood, dance, graphic design, interior design, fashion, music.)", she emphasizes.
Sandra reads, and constantly searches for objects and antiques. She is inspired by textiles and folk art on a global level (Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Africa, Uzbekistan, Scandinavia), naive, primitivism, modernism of the 50's… "I believe it’s necessary as an artist to ‘comprenderlo todo’. I try to stay surrounded by those strange and interesting things. I learned from an artist teacher that 'the artist brings aesthetics to everything'. Everything we do and our environment must integrate aesthetics. Do not be a canvas artist on Sundays and live without passions, without taste. You have to achieve it, live the aesthetic in ALL FACETAS. "
She admires all the artists of the 20th century, including several of her professors: Nelson Sambolin, Lizette Lugo, Lorenzo Homar, Manuel Hernandez- Acevedo, Consuelo Gotay, Marta Pérez, Pepon Osorio, Olga Albizu, Louise Bourgeois, Charles and Ray Eames, Marisol, Gego, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Yayoi Kusama, Basquiat, Miró, Agnes Martin, Eva Hesse etc.
She came to the United States in 2005, and about art in her country of origin she remarks, "In Puerto Rico the contemporary current, or what is valued as ‘arte serio’, is always intense, political or social, and I have some moments of that search, but it always borders on introspective. But in my illustrations, which began as an exercise to get out of the creative blockade... I let 'la niña' to come out, the magical realism so typical of Latinos, or that mixture that occurs in the Caribbean where there is syncretism ... superstition and reality hand in hand, playing, coexisting and entangling with the culture."
And what sums up her life is the same as she thinks about art: "Art is in everything. The creative process (eye-mind-hand) allows you to channeling energies, it heals, it calms. It is sublime. It puts us in touch with the internal and makes us ‘concientes’ of the rest, of everything that surrounds us and of our connection with everything, everything. Even destruction leads to re-creation. There is nothin’ else ... I do not conceive the idea of a life without art. It's not possible".
Her mother enrolled her in her first art class at age 7, her father gave her her first camera and since then she has not stopped portraying the sky. The initials of her surname are PR, as are the initials of the island from where she has brought the colors to us.
To learn more about Sandra’s art, watch the following video: