Fernando Ramos Prida (Mexican, 1937 – 2007)
MediumAcrylic on wood
DimensionsPanel : 30 3/4 x 30 3/4 in. (78.11 x 78.11 cm)
Frame : 32 3/4 x 32 3/4 in. (83.19 x 83.19 cm)
Credit LineGift of Dr. Paul Billings
LabelA nephew of the famous Mexican painter Alfredo Ramos Martinez (1871-1946), Fernando Ramos Prida studied art at the prestigious Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City. Although Ramos Prida’s family background and education made him part of the Mexican art establishment, he was a determined individualist and was not closely associated with any specific schools or movements. Ramos Prida carefully cultivated an appearance of naiveté and avoided obvious demonstrations of technical skill and polish in his art. Feeling somewhat estranged from the contemporary art world, Ramos Prida derived inspiration from folk art, street art, children’s art and pre-Hispanic indigenous art. In the late 1970s, Prida began using a distinctive combination of carving, burning and painting techniques to create images inspired by the Olmec and Aztec cultures that once flourished near his home in Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City. The faces of the two figures in this work recall ancient Olmec stone masks, as well as the masks worn by revelers in pre-Lenten Carnaval celebrations.