Ricardo Carbajal-Moss grew up in Mexico of mixed Mexican and Anglo parentage. Always artistically precocious, he drew incessantly as a young man and then studied at the University of the Americas in Mexico City, the Instituto Allende in the art colony of San Miguel Allende, and the Peninsula School of the Arts in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, founded in 1965 by Madeline Tourtelot. After emigrating to the United States and settling in Los Angeles he completed his studies at the Otis Art Institute.
Carbajal-Moss was heavily influenced by the Belgian Surrealist Rene Magritte (1898 - 1967) and the early works of Salvador Dali (1904 - 1989). The influence of these two artists is significant because both of them combined surrealistic imagery with consumate craftsmanship. In the 1960s Magritte was just being rediscovered and his placement of ordinary objects in an unusual context must have resonated with the young Mexican painter. Dali, of course, was an artistic original who often combined academically classical objects and avant-garde elements in his complex compositions. So, early in Carbajal-Moss' career he began to contrast realistically painter objects against airy and cloudy but colorful backdrops.
Carbajal-Moss was an active exhibitor from the beginning of his career, showing at Galeria Lepe in the resort town of Puerta Vallarta in 1968, the Salon de la Plastica Mexica in Mexico City in 1969 and then with the respected dealer Joan Ankrum in Los Angeles in 1973, after his emigration to the States. He enjoyed a long relationship with the dealer Howard Morseburg, who had always maintained an interest in Mexican art, even if his gallery's orientation was overwhelmingly traditional.
Carbajal-Moss moved to the San Diego area in the 1980s, began teaching at the International College of Art and exhibited with a number of galleries in the resort areas surrounding San Diego. In the balmy climes of California's southern coast his work became increasingly realistic, combining more conventional still life components with surreal elements.
When one looks or listens to Ricardo Carbajal-Moss, he still looks and sounds very much like the young painter who began exhibiting his work forty years ago in that pivotal year of 1968. He is still passionate about his art and retains the same articulate playfulness that has always been part of his speech and character. However, as Carbajal-Moss' life has changed and his ideas have evolved, his work has changed as well, remaining "surrealistic" but becoming much more grounded in reality than his early paintings. At the time of this writing (2008), Carbajal-Moss is as active as ever - teaching, painting and exhibiting in the United States and Europe.
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