‘VIVIDO’; Ricardo Cabral Interview

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Following the successful opening of ‘Vivido’ (Portuguese for ‘vivid’), Ricardo Cabral’s solo exhibition organised by Chrom-Art in collaboration with RB Twelve, we have now the opportunity to understand what is behind his work in this interview. The exhibition, which was featured on the London Live TV channel, can be seen until the 27th of February in RB Twelve, Design Shop, Shoreditch, London.

Ricardo Cabral presents a series of works produced with his distinctive multi-layered technique which produces unique textures and dimension to his abstract artworks.

We met Ricardo three years ago through his participation in Tribe 16 art festival where he already attracted the attention of important collectors. With a long trajectory which includes several international art festival appearances and dividing his time between London and Cape Town, Cabral takes inspiration from the colourful palette of the inspiring African landscape along with the vibrant, fast-paced cultural scene of one of Europe’s great capitals.

This South African fascination with art began at a young age with his maternal grandmother, a well-known artist of Portuguese origin. Her influence left a strong impression on Ricardo. It aroused a distinctive inquisitiveness that has characterised his work since the early days of art workshops up to his more mature studied work of today.

For Cabral, a work of art and the space it occupies are both equally important and form one entity that cannot be separately understood. Both must be given equal care and attention.

Innovation is also clearly visible in Ricardo’s work and can be seen through the use of techniques and materials that intensify the visual experience and add a unique touch to the artist’s style.

What prompted you to start creating art?

Throughout my childhood my family have been a primary source for kick starting my creative passion. My grandmother and uncle both self taught artists, and my father a self taught builder, who created the most incredible homes for his clients.

From my childhood memories I clearly remember my grandmother’s  ‘Menina Numa Carruagem’ hung in the passageway of our home. It depicted  with the most accurate detail, a young girl in a horse drawn carriage, trees with every leaf individually given attention to, life-like facial expression and finger nails no larger than a quarter grain of rice.

You also work as an interior designer. Is there a line that clearly divides that activity from the pure art creation?

Interior design and creating art are very close knit for me. Although interior design involves a much more accurate detailing of creative expression in a large space rather than on a specific singular substrate, both interior design and creating art involve the same end result for me, to create something aesthetically pleasing collectively evoking positive emotions in or on a space or ‘canvas’.

What are your main sources of inspiration?

Most of my series are inspired by nature’s ability to combine colour, pattern and emotion together effortlessly.

Combining this, with my ethos of interior designs’ shape, form and texture layering essentials, as well as the innovative composition of some of my favourite fashion photographers work, forms the basis of each of my series.

Are there any favourite artists or influences you take inspiration from when creating art?

Rather than having a favourite artist, I am more so influenced by certain technique and composition.  Japanese woodblock printing is one such technique which intrigues me, using tones, tints and shades of colours in ways which work together with their composition in perfect harmony.

A very exciting element in your art pieces is that polished 3D effect in your paintings. Without revealing the secret, can you talk to us about your technique?

That would be telling of course….but the ‘secret’ is……….


How has been your experience in the London art market so far. Is it really difficult for new artists to enter?

Personally I think London is a very tough market to break into. Very thankful to non profit organisations such as yours for opening up doors and giving artists a platform to stand on.

In my opinion, it is a lot about who you know, being in the right place at the right time, and striking up the right random conversation in those moments.  I do however feel very lucky to have past design clients who love my work and are supportive of my artistic passions.

What are you currently working on, and do you have any upcoming projects/exhibitions?

I am super excited to be premiering my new series  ‘Palette’  at my solo exhibition at RB12’s superb design studio.  I am also in discussions with a few potential galleries back in my home town Cape Town for possible representation. Very excited at the idea of my family in South Africa being able to see my latest works in the flesh without having to travel 13 hours in an aeroplane.

Do you have a dream collaboration with another artist or a dream project you would like to do one day?

I’m currently in talks with a Mexican designer whose work i’m totally in love with. We hope to collaborate, and totally ignore that we are oceans apart.

As for a dream project, I would love to be commissioned to do an art piece so large it would drive me insane as to how to create it.  I love solving problems, and do my best work under pressure.

Follow Ricardo’s work on www.ricwork.com

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