An interview with our artist Jose Luis Quinones

In this article, we interview artist Jose Luis Quinones from United States.

Please describe your artwork style
I merge my Photorealistic style with Pop Art transforming my two-dimensional surface into a three-dimensional illusion generating an excellent representation with vivid color and spatial depth.

What’s your background?
I was born in Yauco, Puerto Rico. I completed my Art Education at Cooper School of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio.

How long have you been an artist?
Over 45 years

Who or what are your biggest influences?
Like Rosenquist, I painted billboards for an outdoor media company. Painting on a large scale influenced the size of my art, which I found an essential factor in the impact on the viewer. Some of the murals used extensions on the perimeters of the billboard, enhancing their ideas, which lead me to shape my paintings. I also have always loved Durer’s art because of his realism.

How have you developed your career?
My art was always realistic, even when the trends were abstract. I could paint very well abstractly but chose not to. I was fascinated with Photorealism and the Pop Art era. I generated an innovative idea of combining simple everyday objects using Photorealism, eliminating the background, and enlarging the item to make a unique statement. I blend Photorealism and Pop Art producing an immense visual surprise.

Which current art world trends are you following?
I do not follow the current art trends, and I never have. I create what I feel is vital in expressing my artwork while incorporating my oversized ideas into a coherent design. I strive to improve with each painting.

Where do you do your work?
I continue to paint in a studio in my home, but at one time, I worked in a small kitchen and had to paint a nine-foot-tall old-style rectangular pay telephone sideways. I didn’t know what it looked like until I took it outside to enter it in an exhibition. I have also had a large studio. It doesn’t matter as long as I can paint and I have installed good lighting.

What do you feel is the role of the artist in society?
It varies from artist to artist, but I think most artists are either trying to make a statement about art or attempting to influence the viewer to stop and think about their craft and how it alters their environment in society

What techniques / mediums do you use?
Most of my work is done in oil paints because I enjoy the texture, brilliancy, and control it gives me in influencing the surface to achieve the desired effect. It takes time to manipulate the surface to illustrate an airbrushed look without the airbrush.

Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed?
Both are important to me. I find the subject matter a challenge to give the public this different vantage point of something that is from a part of viewers’ past experiences to trigger an emotion or memory. I then use my artistic abilities to recreate this slice of time into an intricate, shaped, oversized painting filled with Photorealistic, depth, and contrast impacting the viewer’s senses.

How do you feel when you are letting your emotions loose on the canvas?
I do not think I place emotional context while I am painting. It is all about the vibrancy, color, dimensional qualities created by all of the techniques I use. My family is not allowed to bother me except to eat, and I spend hours to complete the work from beginning to end. It can take up to three months to complete, so it’s all about concentrating.

What project are you working on now?
I am in the process of investigating paintings shaped in a circular format. I still strive for a three-dimensional look, even though the image is a flat surface. My fascination with the realistically shaped canvas will enable me to envision many new and intriguing paintings. It will be interesting combining Photorealism blending it with the Pop Art Style manipulating a two-dimensional surface into a three-dimensional illusion.

Any current or up-coming exhibitions?
I was recently in an exhibition at the Ohio Expo in Columbus where I won an award and also in California through the Weisman Foundation entitled, POP Culture: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation” https://www.weismanfoundation.org/home/previous-exhibitions/
The pandemic has put at least four exhibitions on hold for now.

Where do you find your ideas for your work?
I find items for ideas everywhere in our environment. A can of coke run over by a tire smashed by a car. A vintage game of marbles saved from my childhood. A grocery store full of fruits and vegetables packaged with tight cellophane. The possibilities for ideas are endless.

Is there an artwork you are most proud of? Why?
My favorite painting is of a giant candy machine with an assortment of twenty-cent candy bars from a time past. The top half of the vending machine has a glass mirror with my wife, Sue’s portrait in it. It is entitled “Sweeter Than Candy.” Need I say more.

How do you know when a work is finished?
My painting is complete when I am not redirected to an area that absorbs my attention. Instead, I can walk away from it, and I can focus on the entire surface.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
My most crucial artist tools are my fan and sable brushes that allow me to blend my artwork, so it looks like it’s airbrushed even though its hand-painted into an impression of a photograph but even better.

Is there an element of art you enjoy working with most? Why?
I try to accomplish a great sense of spatial depth in my work to fool your eyes into believing a different reality transforming a flat surface into a three-dimensional impression.

Additional Information
Quotes

“The Intuitive Eye” Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Collection. Now showing in the FIDM gallery is the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation painting and sculpture exhibit. Representing over 40 years of collecting Modern and Contemporary Art, the Weisman collection exhibition at FIDM includes over 80 works of the greatest names in 20th-century painting and sculpture. Highlights of some of the artists work in all three museum galleries at the college are Andy Warhol, George Segal, Joseph Cornell, Roy Lichtenstein, Edward Ruscha, Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, Tony Berlant, Christo, Donald Judd, Ed Moses, Alex Katz, Jose Luis Quinones, Nan June Paik, and more. (Excerpt from FDIM Exhibition October 9, 2000)

“Having absorbed the total effect from a distance, it is fascinating to examine his work up close, knowing it is done with a brush and not a spray gun.” (Midwest Art April 1976) Claudia Roberts Trevithick

Painting, “Cheaper by the Dozen,” was so popular at this year’s Ohio State Fair that officials had to post a guard to keep people from touching it.” (Art Review Sunday, October 5, 1997)

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2 Responses to “An interview with our artist Jose Luis Quinones”

  1. Lori Schneider May 1, 2020 at 2:41 am #

    Jose! I’m your cousin in law! Harry and Helen’s daughter. I want to know if Sue paints artwork too. I’m on Facebook.

  2. Susan M Quinones May 14, 2020 at 2:50 am #

    Hi Lori,
    It’s nice to hear from you. I just joined Facebook and you can see my student’s artwork. I will be posting my work soon
    Sue Quinones

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