Posted on August 05, 2017 by Riccardo Joseph
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Born and raised in Cuba, Alexis Larrinaga had shown an innate affection towards the Arts. Colors, textures, styles and methods, be it Plastic Arts, Sketching, Cartooning, Graphic Arts and Design, Leather and Wood Work, as well as Acrylic and Oil Paintings, he explores all the different ways in which he can express his unique perspective of the world.
As a child, he manufactured mini sculptures and Knick knack memorabilia utilizing clay and wood to sell to tourists along the Havana shores, as well as in Arts and Crafts fairs, thus helping his parents monetarily with surprising results for a teenager. In a weekend, he used to earn three times what his parents would earn a month in their professional careers in Teaching and Electrical engineering.
In Luyano, his neighborhood in Havana, he was the designated cartoonist for all the kids indulging into their requests for cartoons and comics. This then became an apparent skill that he developed which would later serve a great purpose in his adult years.
At age 19, Alexis and his family migrated to the Dominican Republic, where he worked as a freelance cartoonist for several publications and company events. Alexis obtained his associates in Arts, Crafts and Plastic Arts at the Instituto Politécnico Pablo de la Torrente Brau, in Havana, Cuba. He also performed side jobs in retail and photography to pay for school and ultimately attained his Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and Marketing at APEC University in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
In his admiration of the greats, Alexis also studied under Candido Bidó, a famous Dominican artist whose work has been exhibited worldwide, also known for his colorful portrayal of the mysterious folkloric black-eyed dolls. He worked alongside Bidó on a few murals and projects for the Dominican Air Force during his time at the Candido Bidó School in Santo Domingo.
He worked as an illustrator and cartoonist for “Plan Internacional” a non-for profit organization dedicated to the protection and safe guarding of children, as well as for many publications like “Cañabrava”, “Universitas,” “Revista 110,” “Mini Generacion,” among other print publications in the Dominican Republic. He had addressed many subjects like sports, politics and the state of affairs while touching on the many controversial subjects of the times.
He has utilized his artistic skills to perform in many Freelance Work Projects as a Mural Painter, Creative Illustrator, Cartoonist, Graphic Designer and Web Designer, for companies like CNT (Compañía Nacional de Television) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from 2000 to 2008, while moonlighting as a Supervisor of Security at the Estadio Quisqueya during the Winter Baseball Season.
In 2010, he decided it was time to expand his horizons and finally reached the great “La Yuma,” a name many Cubans use to address the United States. He successfully arrived in Brownsville, Texas and made his way up to the Tri-state area in New York and New Jersey, where most of his family resides, thus embarking upon a new adventure and Chapter in his life. He started a new life in Orange, NJ then quickly moved to the Atlantic City Area in South Jersey. There, he started working as a Food Runner for the Resorts Casino and then worked his way up to Intermediate Cook, thus initiating his newfound medium for his artistic expression in food and Culinary arts.
He continued his artistic pursuit expressing his love for vibrant colors and artistic expression inspired by the Ocean. He adopted different mediums through which he would experiment with acrylics, oils, clay, gesso, pastels on canvas, bottles, fabrics and burning his images and ideas onto wood, ceramics and many other surfaces.
The feminine and mother nature have both always been a source of great inspiration to Alexis. Being the focus of many of his works, the feminine body and deities serve as a focal point and muse in many of his works of art. “I like to use the image of a woman in many of my paintings, because women are a symbol of creation, life and hope. Creation, because within her, is where all life begins. We all come from a woman, this is my way of paying homage to that.”
Alexis has always used his artistic expression as a way of exerting into the Universe, his spirituality, beliefs, wants and desires. As in many artists, there is always somewhat of a spiritual element in his work, and his desire for a child became a common theme very quickly, as he etched the pregnant mother and child in the womb using many mediums and diverse surfaces.
As if stricken by Miami’s splendor and Magic, he and his wife were finally blessed with the conception of his first-born son just months after arrival in Florida, further inspiring his endeavor to represent life, love and innocence in his artwork.
Alexis is very excited to have found a platform like Ricky’s Wall where he can display his work, as he finalizes his depiction and current fascination with the expression of the essence of Life.