​© Edgar Ramirez 2019

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My work originates from city elements such as pathways, barriers, and industrial constructs. I approach surfaces and objects in a way that mimics the approach a construction worker takes during a project. It is important that each piece is, at minimum, human scale. My intention is to engage with the viewers sense of space through a perceptiveness of large-scale fragmental images that are extracted from the built environment. Materiality of city structures such as metal, concrete, and wood are exposed through layers, fissures and breaks, and corroding color. Deconstructing these revealing elements allude to the neglect and indifference of spaces within the city, further suggesting that these spaces and structures dictate our experiences of specific urban areas which often create social class contradictions and segregation.


I lean towards things created by people, which includes economic patterns and city developments. City elements are engaged as a means to present an aged and deteriorating image. Substrates often revealed through surface breaks and poor paint applications are used as a means to achieve this residual “artifact”. Works like Untitled (Tract) “number” speak to the social tensions, like wealth inequality and socioeconomic class divisions found in the urban environment, through their materiality and construct. The panels I make correspond to housing constructions which, instead of appearing as newly built, consist of drawn and damaged stucco mud, exposing the steel-wire mesh and wooden substrate. This in turn not only reveals the elements of the work but also its history. 

I characterize structural fragments into nonrepresentational forms and shapes that point to specific urban locations through deteriorating imagery or an implied lack of surface care. I reveal these elements in order to stimulate connotations and overtone cues of lower-class, industrial neighborhoods and their histories. Growing up in an industrial, working-class neighborhood - surrounded by the Port of Los Angeles, refineries, and trainyards - I seek to question the current state of urban spatial use, city planning, and class divisions and segregation created by this. These ideas are translated into my work through heavy, rugged surfaces and opaque colors that serve to also expose the deep-rooted ideologies of the built environment.