Ponce, Puerto Rico
I am a Puerto Rican artist educated in the fields of Photography and Fine Art.
1971-73 I started my artistic journey with private lessons in drawing and painting with José Azaustre, a Spaniard academic painter established in Ponce, PR.
During the same time, got interested in Photography. Read specialized books to reinforce my knowledge in the matter. The last years of High School, I spent my free time drawing, painting and taking photographs of my surroundings and subjects that interested me..
In 1975 I left home, to study Psychology at Mayaguez Campus of the University of Puerto Rico. I complemented my interest in art by taking elective classes with art professors; Carmelo Fontánez, Maria Luisa Penne de Castillo and Saint Germaine. In 1977 after three years of University studies in Mayaguez, I transferred to Sacred Heart University in San Juan, where I completed a BA in Art and Sciences-Psychology Mayor.
In 1978, at the same time I was studying at USC, I began to study a one year specialized course of professional photography at the Puerto Rican Institute of Photography. The institute was founded and directed by Jorge Santana, who at that time was Puerto Rico’s most recognized Advertising Photographer.
I learned the basics of the trade under the tutelage of Photographer -Richard Rojas, Darkroom Master -Edgardo Buxeda and Jorge Santana himself. At the completion of the study program composed by the lessons of nine other professors , I was selected by the Faculty Committee, as that years (1978-79) most advanced student. As the result of that evaluation, I landed a job at Santana’s Studio as B&W Lab Technician.
I went on to work at Willy Alonzo Photo Studio. For a year, I worked as First Assistant of Photography and managed both the B&W and E-6 transparency labs.
Advanced Professional Experience:
In 1980-84 in search of additional professional experience at a higher level, I moved to Los Angeles California. At LA, I worked as Photo-assistant for renowned photographers: Mark Coppos, Jay Ahrend, Steve Harvey, Elise Lewin and Reed Fenton.
My own Photographic Studio:
In 1985, I returned to the island and established my own commercial photo-studio in San Juan. Was dedicated to advertising photography until 2000.
In my Studio, I produced specialized photography for the mayor advertising agencies and an extensive list of direct clients. Some of these were: FCB Espasas,Lopito Ileana & Howie, BBDO PR, Badillo Satchi & Satchi, Martí Flores Prieto, MBM Publicidad and Young and Rubicam.
Lasting association with my Mentor, Augusto Marín:
In 1987 I met renowned artist Augusto Marín. Started my collaboration with him, photographing his paintings for the catalogs of his exhibitions. During that time I received the tutelage of Marín’s guidance and expanded my knowledge in: image design, artistic method, creative technics of plastic execution and about the peculiarities of the local art market. My educative and working relationship with Marín lasted until his death in 2011. During the years that followed I met and collaborated in art proyects with other principal figures of the art community. Artists Jonh Balossi, Carmelo Fontánez, Carlos Irizarry, Alfonso Arana, Marta Pérez, Andy Bueso, Carlos Ortíz, “Sueños”, influenced my learning experience about art.
Showing my art work:
1995- Started creating art photography for exhibition. Produced photographs of live models in b&w and color. Later by proyecting the negatives and transparencies onto a backdrop I added color and texture effects for a final composed image. I exhibited two of this photo- lignt proyected prints at my first collective exhibition at the Carnegie Lybrary.
In 1996 I produced a Series of 22 conceptual photographs titled “Carnaval Fabulesco”. For this work, I produced a photo session with live models and latter intervened the resulting transparencies by scratching and painting the cellulose to create altered images. This pioneered experimental work was my first solo exhibition at “Galería Forum de las Artes”.
Through the years I have participated in some twenty four art expositions in private venues and public institutions in Puerto Rico.
Some of the most prominent expositions held in San Juan, PR :
2004-“Eco de las Lucernas Noctámbulas”, Lexus Art Rhythms, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.
2003-Photography Exhibition, Noches de Galería, Liga de Arte de San Juan, Galería Delta Pico.
2001- “Eco de las Lucernas Noctámbulas”, Museo Casa Roig, Universidad de Puerto Rico.
1997-“Carnaval Fabulesco”, Casa Aboy-Galería PL 900.
2009-“Bocetos Encontrados”, Homenaje a Augusto Marín, Galeria Veve.
2008-“Cien Años de Corretjer”, Museo del Arsenal de la Puntilla, Derechos Civiles”, VI Bienal de Fotografía de Puerto Rico, Museo de las Américas, Sala 3.
2006-“Una Mirada sobre San Juan”, V Bienal de Fotografía de Puerto Rico, Museo de las Américas, “Miniaturas en Portada”, Revista Arte, Dominican Republic.
2004- “En Saludo a la Bienal”, IV Bienal de Fotografía de Puerto Rico, Museo de las Américas, Sala 7, “Ave América”, Interamerican University.
2002- III Bienal Internacional de Fotografía, Museo de Las Américas, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña.
1996- “Junte”, Casa Aboy-Galería PL 900. “El Desnudo”, Diseño Isleño, SJ, PR, “Arte Puertorriqueño”, Superior Education Council, Department of Education.
1995- “Primavera Fotográfica”, Carnegie Library.
I create my art work by combining different methods of execution. I integrate: photography, fine art processes and digital art. My body of exhibited art works compiles Photography -traditional, experimental and digital-; Acrylic and digital painting, Mixed Media mono types and handmade and digital originated Drawings.
René Castillo Ramos Copyright © 2015