“It has been an exciting adventure for me to explore, invent and discover new possibilities and forms of expression.” - the artist
Q: What led you to become a collage artist?
A: While recovering from surgery to reattach my retina and no sight in my right eye, I considered how to embrace my art and turn this disability into a positive. I experimented with whatever materials I could find. This lack of full sight continued to affect the content of my art and my mind started to work in a different way. I was liberated from viewing a specific subject and drew on the distorted images and fused coloration I perceived. I call this body of work my "One Eye Series.”
My eye has since improved thanks to quick action and wonderful doctors. It did take several years and this series gave me something to look forward to and create work I had never done before.
It was truly liberating, very different from the large figurative canvases I had done in the past. Since developing this style I don’t hesitate to experiment with different paints, materials, anything I find interesting.
It has been an exciting adventure for me to explore, invent and discover new possibilities and forms of expression. Mixed media and collage is one aspect of my work that came from this negative but incredible experience of my artistic development.
Q: What inspires your portrait-type subject matter?
A: Before the issues with my eye sight, I worked for many years in a more realistic style with live models. My knowledge of the human figure freed me to explore my inner-self. My inspiration now comes from within.
My interest in the human form developed into an exploration of thoughts and feelings we all have. I constantly search my inner self and ideas just take form. My work can’t always be explained. It is in great part intuition.
Often I start with a more realistic image and as the process continues, I paint, use lots of layers, layers, texture, and incorporate additional forms and materials that inspire me. The initial image can continue to change depending on where my mind goes during the process. It may become something entirely different. My choice of materials for a specific portrait is extremely intuitive.
Q: Can you describe the materials you use and your creative process?
A: For me, it’s all about the creative process and where it takes me. I may work with the unfamiliar and as the artwork evolves, express the impressions, feelings, and sentiments evoked without any intent. Sometimes I’m inspired by an older piece that I have a wonderful time ripping and cutting up portions to incorporate in current work. In addition to more traditional materials like acrylic, watercolor, charcoal, oil pastels and pencil, I’ve discovered gauze, plaster, burlap, shelf liner and other found objects that I find exciting to use in my art.
It’s exciting to find new materials that help me create the unexpected. I want the viewer to touch my work. Feel the layers, texture, look at it closely and enjoy the experience and part of the process. I’m that person at a museum who has to hold back from touching the artwork and putting my nose directly on it. Not that I don’t try to.
Q: We were impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled Catharsis No. 15B, 2018, as well as the rest of the collection you submitted obviously. Tell us more about this piece/series.
A: My “Catharsis Series” tells a story about pain, joy, suffering, and mood changes that everyone experiences in life. To be able to let go and motivate. For me this entire body of work has been an emotional cleansing. My most personal artwork to date.
The human face and it’s expressions can be very revealing. Sometimes the image takes on a more intense version and changes during the process. It can be a fierce start that purges itself and becomes a more subtle, less aggressive piece.
My art has been my lifeline on more than one occasion. It is my cathartic outlet for life’s journey.
Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your art?
A: I didn’t title the art in this series. This work is deeply personal so I would like the viewer to have their own interpretation of what they see. I want to inspire some sort of emotional reaction from the viewer. Appeal to someone that doesn’t necessarily have an extensive knowledge of art. Perhaps experience a cathartic reaction for themselves. Personally, a piece of art is successful if it creates an intense reaction from the viewer.
Q: How do you view your art career in five years?
A: I don’t necessarily look ahead as much as stay in the present to continue my artistic journey. I love creating art and that is when I am happiest. Art is the best therapy. Of course I want to receive more recognition and exposure of my work while continuing to make art. I want to be known as an artist who inspires the viewer to react to my work, sometimes relating it to their own experiences.
About the artist:
Roni Murillo is a creative visual artist based in New York with an extensive background in graphic design, illustration, and fine art. Her work is featured in many galleries and private collections throughout the United States, Asia and Central and South America. Her art foundation of watercolor, acrylic, charcoal and ink are also reflected in her current digital projects.
Ms. Murillo received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University. Further artistic training continued at the Art Student’s League and Parsons School of Design in New York City. She has been commissioned to do pieces for home, office and theater.
Her business background includes that of being a Manager for a Graphic Design Studio and the Director of Research & Development for a large toy, stationary and leisure products company. She has also served in the capacity of Creative Director for Package Design and New Product Development.
Roni Murillo’s art is very personal and emotional, filled with color, energy, and movement. It often transforms from its original intent during the creative process.
While recovering from an injury to her eye and with restricted vision, Roni considered how to turn this disability into a positive. She drew on the distorted images and fused coloration she perceived and used it to her advantage. Some of her most imaginative and innovative work emerged. She calls this body of work the "One Eye Series."
Roni continues to explore and experiment with various media, styles, textures, and new themes.
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