Have you ever sat on the bus wondering about the depth of emotion and experience of your fellow passengers? This common experience of pondering serves as the inspiration behind local Chicago artist Ramiro Silva’s latest art exhibit. Silva explained that while experiencing his own personal difficulties, he created connections to others through “imagining what their experience is like behind the mundane ‘looking at their phones.’”
Through his art exhibit titled “Mundane,” the artist plays with simple structures and bright colors in order to represent the potential struggles of strangers in an abstract way. Silva found the creation of this body of work to be a challenging exercise in illustrating human emotion and experience through basic shapes.
This culmination of a “whole year of personal journey and exploration” resulted in the creation of a new artistic concept, which Silva described as an exciting departure from his previous work. He shared that his first art show a few years ago paired simple shapes with maps, representing each person’s background was more literal.
“This time my work is way more abstract [with a] technique that took more time to polish and learn in the process,” Silva said.
Silva hopes to use this exhibit to create a dialogue with viewers about what people see and feel in his work, without any expectation of what that will be.
“I just am curious about their experience; if they leave with something positive or negative, I am fine with that,” he said. He welcomes any and all discussion and reactions from viewers about his work and what they take away from it.
A piece of Silva’s journey began four years ago when he left Chile to move to Chicago to pursue a career in advertising. He said that while he had always been artistic as a child, Silva gained inspiration through his work as he saw many of his colleagues displaying their artistic talents. He then began painting and creating street art.
Through his work as an art director, Silva developed a keen sense of keeping his “brain and eyes open all the time” to new possibilities for creativity. He described feeling more at ease with his artistic pursuits once he was able to focus less on being the “next great animator” and more on “expressing what [he] has…and just doing what [he] likes,” he said.
Silva credits his art career to Chicago and the opportunity he was afforded by being offered work in animation. Although he had not heard much about Chicago while growing up in Chile, he feels lucky to find this community and has since fallen in love with the city and its people.
Not only is Positive Space Studios (3520 W. Fullerton Ave.) home to Silva’s art exhibit but he also has been a part of its community since they opened a couple years ago. He said Positive Space opened him up to the neighborhood and the authentic vibrations of Logan Square, which Silva feels emotionally connected to despite living on the North Side of the city.
His exhibit “Mundane” will be featured at Positive Space Studios Aug. 25 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.