Surrealism and fame meet the precision of a tattoo artist in the acrylic works of Gustavo Rimada. At the heart of each work is an accepted object of beauty: a monarch butterfly, Marilyn Monroe, the Virgin Mary. From this canon of fame and beauty, Rimada infuses his subjects with a gritty, bold confidence. The figures are grounded in the allure of vintage mixed with surrealism, and doused with an element of morbidity. Fundamentally, the artist is toying with what makes beauty. Rimada’s Mother Nature is not an effervescent spring: she casts a dubious gaze on the viewer, her figure framed by a solid, dark shroud. The beauty of Mother Nature stems from blood-red roses. At the center of the piece, an elk’s head summons forth silent mysteries of the forest, and Earth’s obscure spaces.
Familiar faces like Elizabeth Taylor are reinvigorated with a gritty charm, reminiscent of the Day of the Dead in Mexico (Rimada’s homeland). Covered with tattoos and marked by ruthless streaks of red, they shock and challenge our conceptions of fame. Frida and Snow White are removed from courtly aesthetics, and cast into a confrontation with the viewer. We are left with a sense of longing for a world devoid of time and space, where beauty and charm derive from exposed ribs and a crown of thorns. Raw, poignant, brutal, and real, Rimada’s work spellbinds.