Elmer Ramos

My works consist of shapes that bridge the divide between representational and nonrepresentational—a distinction unique to each viewer—to form a concise yet ambiguous narrative. I am interested in folklore, fables, and fairy tales, and how through the telling of these stories details are omitted so a lesson can be privileged. My compositions are similarly distilled, with colorful elements arranged on spare white grounds. Rather than an authoritative or moralistic outcome, however, I invite viewers to come to their own conclusions by withholding specificities. 

My work is process driven, and equal parts painting, printmaking, drawing, and collage. I begin by creating “blends”—printed gradients of oil-based ink on eastern paper, coated on verso with rice paste. Each multi-toned shape is “drawn” intuitively with an x-acto knife, then subjected to an editorial process of reworking and positioning on a larger paper substrate, which is dampened to activate the rice paste and seamlessly adhere these collage elements. Together, these processes lend an ethereal, transient quality, as if the compositions are apparitions conjured between reality and dream.