RAD in Kindergarten
ABOUT RAD: BIOGRAPHY & ARTIST STATEMENT
Originally from Los Angeles, RAD is an artist and educator based in West Harlem, New York. He’s been teaching art to children since he graduated with a major in Fine Arts and a minor in Art Education from The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Teaching has been a source of inspiration, for both RAD and his students.
RAD creates paintings, collages, murals, printmaking, digital and mixed-media pieces which aims to stay true to the spirit and vitality of one’s youth. It’s an ethos that is exemplified in his character Forever Young, a walking LEGO minifigure wearing a blue suit and briefcase enjoying a dripping pink popsicle.
Combining his love of LEGO and the soap operas his mother watched in order to learn English, having immigrated from Cuba, RAD began to develop a narrative of his own, his minifigures living in a fictitious town of Raddington Falls, with the mayor and district attorney embroiled in scandal reminiscent of daytime and nighttime mellow dramas.
Based on his studies of art education, RAD discovered that as children play with toys, their action figures and dolls engage in a dialogue as the child attempts to make sense of the values of our culture, whether from television, films, internet or their family. It's the earliest form of storytelling, which, continues when children draw. Narratives form with each line put down on paper. It’s these concepts which continue to inform RAD's art.
While much of his work is a pastiche of iconography and styles from from popular culture, some of his work taps into the political, cynical side of adulthood. It’s these dualities between child-like imagery and adult's rites of passages adds tension and dimensionality to the art work.