Meet Me in Los Angeles: Edgar Ramirez

The artist shows us Wilmington, ‘a part of LA that no one ever thinks about’, and reveals how signs, shipping containers and refineries, as well as his awe of James Turrell and the landscapes of John Constable, inspire his paintings

in Frieze Los Angeles , Interviews , Videos | 30 JAN 23
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Edgar Ramirez – a highlight of the Focus section for emerging art at Frieze Los Angeles — introduces us to the industrial neighbourhood of Wilmington, Los Angeles, ‘a part of LA that people don’t ever think about’. 

Talking to us from his studio in his parent’s garage, we discover the materials of the artist’s practice: anonymous signs — ‘We Buy Houses’, ‘Fix Your Credit’, etc — that parasitically populate low-income neighbourhoods in Los Angeles and America at large, often targeting immigrant communities and the working classes. 

Appropriating the look and language of these predatory signs, he paints them in a multitude of colours on cardboard and then subjects them to a process of aggressive sanding, ripping and subtraction which seems to exist somewhere between classical décollage and the urban decay which can be seen in areas around Ramirez’s neighbourhood, particularly the port and nearby refineries.

Despite the ‘beat up’ quality of the landscape that inspires Ramirez’s works, the palpable texture, richness, and colour of the artist’s s paintings are characterised by a strident and explosive beauty, as if in protest, and in spite of everything. 

Edgar Ramirez is presented by Chris Sharp Gallery in the Focus section at Frieze Los Angeles 2023.

About Focus

Focus is co-curated by Amanda Hunt and Sonya Tamaddon for up-and-coming talent. This year's section showcases artists who link both personal and collective narratives of immigration across generations, through the dystopic urban American landscape, or by using the body as a vessel for examining these histories. The diversity of voices featured here functions as a map with which to navigate the sprawling ecosystem of the United States through the keen eye of some of the country’s most dynamic emerging artistic talents.

Orange painting with stencil and decollage
Edgar Ramirez, Yonke, 2020. House paint on cardboard, mounted on linen, 145 x 145 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Chris Sharp Gallery

About Edgar Ramirez

Edgar Ramirez (b. 1989, Los Angeles) lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his MFA from ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena, in 2020, and his BFA, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles in 2018. His work has been featured in two-person and group exhibitions most recently, at The Mistake Room, Los Angeles (2022), Show Gallery, as part of his residency at Quinn Emanuel Artists-in-Residence, Los Angeles (2022), as well as a solo presentation at NADA, Miami with Chris Sharp Gallery (2021).

Pink and blue abstract painting with decollage and stencil techniques
Edgar Ramirez, Street Corner Rip-Off: Neptune, 2021. House paint on cardboard, mounted on linen. 143.5 x 143.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Chris Sharp Gallery



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