Professional development and experience as Art Commissioner.
1987-My development to become Art Commissioner began after I met renowned fine artist Augusto Marín. Consequently, a professional collaboration and friendship began. The projects that resulted from that fortuitous meeting, initiated my professional involvement in Puerto Rico’s art world. At that time I operated my own studio of Advertising Photography. I created photography for the mayor advertising agencies in San Juan. I was called to photograph Marín’s large format paintings, for the publication of the catalog, of his solo exhibition of that year. His exhibition took place at “Centro de Bellas Artes, in Santurce, PR”. After that initial assignment, Marín continued soliciting my photography services for other publications regarding his art work. Through the years, in the process of collaborating with Marín, I was served with valuable lessons under his tutelage about art creation and production. I had the privilege to observe his creative process when he was at work in his studio. Being in that creative environment I learned effective art methods and Technics for the production of large format painting. From him I learned the procedure of how to produce fine art serigraphs and lithographs. I also learned specifics and peculiarities of Puerto Rico’s art market. As result of this apprenticeship, in 2000 and then on, the artist assigned me to oversee and supervise the production of his editions of stone lithographs and silk screen serigraphs and eventually, the production of bronze sculptures. As part of my free-lance assignments, I also sold his art prints for resale to local Art Merchants and his original paintings to Art Collectors. My friendship and working relationship with "Tuto" remained until his death in 2011.
Thanks to the opportunities provided to me by Marín to photograph his paintings, my photography work of art became known in the art community. By 1990 other plastic artists started soliciting my photographic services to illustrate their exhibition catalogs and other publications. The principal ones were: John Balossi, Andy Bueso, Ramón Mojica, Jorge Morales Zeno, Rafi Trelles and Alfonso Arana. In those times I started my personal collection of Puerto Rican art.
In 1992, fine artist John Balossi hired me to photograph the selection of his painting to be published in the catalog of his international individual exhibition titled “Costellazioni”. The exhibition was held, at the Palazzo Rocca in the city of Chiavari, Italy. The exhibition was one of the Fifth Centenary world celebrations of the discovery of the Americas.
During the years from 1993 to 2000, I was dedicated professionally to the realization of special projects of photography, graphic design and offset printing for advertising, corporate and direct clients in Puerto Rico.
In 1995, the first retrospective of Augusto Marín was held at the” Museum of the Americas” in San Juan. I was commissioned to photograph the selection of one hundred master paintings and architectural murals of Marin’s creative work. This was a most important exhibition. This show provided the public the opportunity, to see under the same roof, the artist’s different stylistic periods of art creation he produced during his career. For the first time, four decades of Marin's stylistic evolution was accessible for everyone to appreciate and admire.
In 1997 I was selected to photograph visiting French artist Robert Rocca’s bronze sculptures for the catalog of his exhibition titled “Femmes Je Vous Aime” at “Forum de las Artes” art gallery. I took the opportunity of this Master Sculptor visit to the Island, to inquire about bronze and stone sculpture artistic and production processes. During those years I made photography for “Forum de las Artes” exhibition catalogs for artist: Robert Rocca, Rolando López-Dirube, Alfonso Arana, Gerardo Torres, Humberto Calzada and José Bonilla Ryan.
In 1998, I completed advance courses in Adobe Illustrator and Photo Shop at “Escuela de Bellas Artes”, SJ, PR.
2000-As time went by I acquired more experience and criteria in the endeavor of art production. My responsibilities extended to financing and selling Augusto Marin’s and other prime artist’s art works. During the next years, I kept collaborating with fine artist in the island and selling their paintings to the art collectors.
2003-At this time, I started acting fully as Art Commissioner. I was initiating art collections of high value art works, of Puerto Rican fine artist, for a group of private art collectors. One of my principal objectives was to obtain for my clients, opportunities to buy top level validated art, at advantageous prices. Providing immediate equity value in the acquisition.
That same year, I collaborated in the realization of Augusto Marin’s biographical book written by Dr. Rubén Alejandro Moreira. A selection of the portraits and photographs that I had made during the previous 16 years were published in the book titled “Las Formas de la Existencia”. This extensive book featuring Marin’s life and professional trajectory was produced; in consonance with his second extensive retrospective exhibition held in November of that year at “Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico”.
In 2004, for artist Augusto Marín, I supervised the production of four limited editions of bronze sculptures destined for art collectors.
In 2005 as Art Commissioner, I started advising private corporate clients about valid art investment options available. I scouted the art market, to identify advantageous opportunities to collect Puerto Rican art. Due diligence continues to the present.
2007-This year I produced two additional limited edition serigraphs for Augusto Marín and sold original paintings of fine artists: Wichi Torres and Andy Bueso and began my representation of Lyric Expressionist Carmelo Fontánez.
In 2008, I was given the assignment to be in charge, of financing and production of three additional limited editions of bronze sculptures for Augusto Marín. I selected the Foundry and supervised the whole process of production from beginning to end. It was my responsibility to insure the high quality expected for the art pieces . For this project I was commissioned exclusively to be the only agent authorized to intervene in the production and to sale the sculptures to the collectors.
During that year fine artist Carlos Irizarry commissioned to me to finance, produce and sale a limited edition of 180 fine art giclées made to commemorate the 38th. ”Fiesta de la Calle San Sebastian”. That year festivities were held in Carlos Irizarry’s honor, to commemorate his lifelong career dedicated to art creation.
2009- I financed, produced and sold in exclusivity one additional limited edition bronze sculpture for Augusto Marín and also was commissioned to produce, two additional silk screen serigraphs of his work.
I was interviewed for the TV series “Prohibido olvidar”. The episode featured the life and career of artist Augusto Marín. It was produced by the University of Puerto Rico and transmitted by TUTV Chanel 6.
I was selected by “Colegio de Abogados” sitting President Ana Irma Rivera Lassen to participate as a member of the Committee for the restoration of Augusto Marín’s mural painting “La Dama de la Justicia” that is in permanent exhibition at the entity's building entrance lobby. The master painting had some deterioration caused by the impact of time. The works were assigned to artist Marcos Alegría. The intervention of Alegría produced a successful restoration of the mural to its original brilliance and value.
2010 This year, the silk screen serigraph titled “Dama de la Justicia- Mural del Colegio de Abogados” was offered for acquisition to the members of the organization. This edition of fine art prints had been printed in 2007 and signed and numbered in 2008. It was promoted and offered for sale in 2010 with approval and collaboration of Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico.
During the twenty one years I worked in Augusto Marín’s art projects, I supervised or produced a total of twenty fine art graphics editions and eight limited edition sculptures. Most these items are still in existence in my personal inventory and available for collectors by means of this web page.
I have been working as Art Commissioner for the last eighteen years. Dedicated to sale, supervise, produce, or/and finance, top rate art to individuals and institutional collectors in Puerto Rico. Actually I am dedicated to promote and sale the art works of a selected group of established fine artists: Augusto Marín, Carmelo Fontánez, Carlos Irizarry, Carlos Ortiz- Sueños, Peter Gaztambide, Marcos Alegría and Rubén Ríos. These recognized figures of our artistic panorama have trusted me with the representation of their collectable art creations. The artists I represent offer very different proposals in terms of their style, concept and medium.
By publishing this WEB page, I will expand the awareness of the services that I provide to the art community as Art Commissioner. I am focused in the promotion of these artists, in the effort to showcase their talent and educate the public about their trajectory. Their art proposals are valid alternatives to art collectors to consider, in their objective, to acquire valuable art for their investment.
By learning to understand art, we gather an excellent opportunity to enrich our personal level of sophistication. A masterful art creation is an eloquent statement of the human experience. Art contains the codification by which we are able to see ourselves in actual time. Valid art vibrates thought time marking the pulse of culture. Every generational ensemble, offers its prolific manifestation of art, as the intrinsic way to renew its vision of society’s continuous flux.
René Castillo Ramos Copyright © 2015