Artistic Alchemy

Rick Falcon's pop surrealistic style is produced in the tradition of the masters.

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Rick Falcon is a Miami artist. He says, "Painting is like alchemy. You can take oil and turn it into gold."
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He says, "My father is into skateboarding and I grew up with MAD magazine, and R. Crumb's work. Later I got into graffiti and urban culture, but I've always been drawn to fine art and the traditional aspects of painting and art history."
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"I try to take the cartoon to the highest art form possible, retelling stories everyone's been through with images people can relate to."
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Detail from a Rick Falcon sketch.
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"My father put a pencil in my hand as soon as I could grip one. My earliest memories are of drawing trees, people, animals. When I was 11 I had my first set of canvas and acrylics."
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Rick Falcon went to art school at MDC, and has continued studying technique as an apprentice to Spanish surrealist master Alberto Pancorbo.
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Rick Falcon draws heavily from religious imagery and representations. His studio is full of visual references for his work.
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Select works and painting references adorn the space. Rick says, "My next solo show is called "Living To Die, Dying To Live." It's about the fact that I don't ever want to die. I want to live forever."
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Rick Falcon says, "I thank God everyday. I kiss the ground. I'm so thankful for the opportunities He's given me. I try to be positive and do good things because they're the right thing to do."
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Rick's dog Lucy is the "guardian of the artwork." She is 15 years old.
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A work in progress starts as a sketch on a page.
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"I use hand models. Some people say 'oh you could have just pulled a picture online.' I do that sometimes, but for the most part I try to paint how they did before computers."
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"For me, a sketchbook is just like a place to scribble and plant seeds for later."
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Detail of a page from Rick Falcon's sketchbook.
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Rick had his first solo show last month at Butter Gallery, by whom he's represented, in Wynwood. It was called Sacrificial Offering.
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"Part of my process is priming a surface til it's as smooth as glass. Til I can ice skate across it with my paintbrush. When you paint on canvas and go really into the details the fibers of the canvas causes skips. That's why the masters used to paint on wood."
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"I'm inspired by all kinds of art, but what people would call my work is Pop Surrealism. I hate the word lowbrow. That's like taking everything that isn't one thing and putting it all in the same category."
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Rick Falcon's studio.
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Rick Falcon's studio desk detail.
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Tools of the trade.
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A page from Rick's sketchbook.
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And another.
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"I work on art about 8 to 10 hours a day."
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A Rick Falcon work in progress deals with the concept of a Philosopher's Egg, the heat resistant container in which alchemists believed the substance that could turn any metal into gold or silver could be made.
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