Firestarter 25 x 60 oil on aluminum panel 2014 Black Veil 29 x 35 charcoal on paper Headwinds 23 x 26 oil on linen Candice in Yellow 8 x 10 oil on copper 2010 Amaranth 14 x 21 oil on linen Interview with JULIO REYES: Your childhood ambition: I wanted to be a professional soccer player, got damn close too. I played on some serious club teams, played and traveled through Europe, and was very close to playing in college… Also, ever since I read Will Durant’s “The Lessons of History”, I secretly dreamt I would be a writer/philosopher/historian/professional soccer player… I think I was 17 when I realized that I wanted to seriously pursue an art career. Something you treasure: My memories. My wife and my two boxers. Your worst habit: My worst habit is often the flip side of my greatest asset. I obsess on projects and tend to let the rest of the world disappear from view. This can be awfully lonely. When I come back to the world, after a painting is done or a deadline is met, I realize just how much life I’ve missed, and the feeling that arises is one of loss, melancholy, and longing. To me, the passage of time is marked in giant leaps. It seems that focus and single mindedness, if taken too far, can come at a great cost. The aspect of your work that’s most important to you: The most important part of my work is translating my deepest feelings into imagery. In the same way a poet can evoke far more than the static definition of a word when artfully placed so as to be in its proper relation to the greater whole—I try to evoke complex stories and histories by grafting together all of the many different elements that go into my pictures, in just such a way. I try to juxtapose deliberate and uncomplicated compositions with highly personal symbols and objects to imply a subjective narrative that looms larger, more important, and more obscure than can be immediately grasped. To me, a picture is a still-point between the abstract and the actual, the tangible and the intangible. I aim to, as the artist Odilon Redon put it, “[put] the logic of the visible to the service of the invisible.” Your first job: When I was in the 7th grade my brother and I got a job cleaning the bathrooms and mopping up the shop floor at an auto shop in Van Nuys, Los Angeles. I remember going to work there every day during the summer months, and thinking just how damn big that place was, and how filthy it could get in just one day—it was hard, nasty work. The owner offered to put me through mechanics school, which I always thought was pretty cool of him to offer, but I had a different future in mind, even at that age. Someone whose work you highly recommend: This is like asking what mood I’m in. There’s so many great artists I’m inspired by…but at the moment, I would say, the Korean artist Sam Kim. See more of Julio Reyes’ work here.