Ricardo Montenbruck

Ricardo Montenbruck was born in Torreon Coahuila, Mexico in 1962. One of his earliest memories was sketching cartoons. By the age of 6, he was able to draw portraits, and geometric figures freehand. Encouraged by his family, (particularly his mother), Ricardo enrolled in art classes and painted extensively as a young man. He grew to appreciate contemporary painters such as Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro. But Ricardo moved away from art to study more “practical” and “lucrative” fields, which he took quite seriously. By 1984, Ricardo had completed graduate studies in Law, and was on his way to becoming a practicing attorney in Mexico. But the political unrest and economic instability of the times were disheartening. So he changed paths, moved to San Francisco in 1985, switched his focus to civil engineering, and by 1995 became a chief land surveyor.

Working as a Surveyor in the Bay Area by day, Ricardo continued painting nights and weekends, whenever he could, creating abstract, surreal, political pieces on acrylic and pastels (charcoal). As he sharpened his skills in drafting and architecture, understanding angles, lines, and the criticality of painstaking accuracy in his measurements, his ‘day job’ reignited his fascination with geometric shapes and patterns. Of his many influences, the most prominent were the conceptual styles of Frank Stella, the brilliant colors of Wassily Kandinsky, and the paintings of Agnes Pelton, whose landscapes seemed to delve beyond the bonds of matter.

Borrowing from the influences of these masters, Ricardo’s intention in his work, is to make the observer keenly aware of the significant changes that technology has imposed on our infrastructure, not just in the physical, but also in our virtual realities.

Today, Ricardo draws considerable inspiration from the politics of technology, particularly it’s influence on the culture and environment of the Americas, both North and South. Ricardo lives in the Jack London Square area of Oakland, California, overlooking the breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay, where he continues painting.


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