Made In L.A. is coming to the Hammer, Barnsdall Park, LAXART, and billboards around town on June 2 and will showcase sixty emerging, under-recognized Los Angeles artists–one of which will be voted to win a $100,000 prize. In order to help you make an educated vote this summer, we’re counting down to Made In L.A. by showcasing each artist participating in the biennial.
Vincent Ramos is a multi discipline artist whose work moves between drawing, installation, and performance, often colliding to examine the past and present.
Ramos’ work analyzes the past through his personal point of view and history with an awareness of the significance of what everything means presently. His Listening Room at Crisp-London Los Angeles served as the best representation of this. He filled the entire (small) space of Crisp with sandbags that reached to the ceiling, with just a small walking space around it. Additionally, he had music surrounding the Vietnam War playing into the room, music that came after and around the war. The work seeks to construct the time and situation of his uncle Forest Lee Ramos, who died in the Vietnam War and was a huge blow to his family. Listening Room tries to reconstruct the idea of war and the past through the present, trying to create the space in which his uncle may have been in.
Similarly, Ramos’ is known for using lots of found objects, items scrounged from thrift stores surrounding a specific time period which he seeks to construct the past, in addition to using performance to bring an installation to life. “As of late, my work has led me to an interest in fusing certain strains of popular culture with specific historical events, to reinterpret notions of memory, time and place within the social, cultural and political arenas of American society,” Ramos explained his California Community Foundation fellowship statement. In 2009, he presented Call Me Lightning a series of performance based works that all got at the idea of dancing and the dance floor and noise associated with the activity, which complimented drawings he made to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Chubby Checker’s “The Twist.”
Ramos is an artist whose work is about the past in the present but also about interactivity and the involvement of the artist or viewer with the art. His Made In L.A. piece will certainly be that, which LAXART has noted will be “several unannounced performative actions representing cultural archetypes/stereotypes from the postwar period that have emerged from the artist’s extensive research of Venice Beach in the 1950s.” It will certainly be an experience and will undoubtedly clarify and enhance the work that will be exhibited at the show.