December 1, 2021. By Gabrielle Bruney.
When he was 13, the artist Bony Ramirez’s family informed him that they were taking a vacation to the United States from their home in the Dominican Republic. “I was told that we were just coming for two weeks, to visit Disney World, and we were going to come back,” he said. “We never went to Disney World, and we’ve never been back.”
Today, at 25 years old, Ramirez’s art career is on the rise. But the departure from his home country looms over his mixed-media paintings, which often feature dreamily distorted, life-sized depictions of imagined figures from the Dominican Republic and its colonial past. In his portraits, elongated limbs curve and twist, forming figures of startling depth and plausibility despite their impossible proportions. He sets his subjects against idyllic, tropical backgrounds often featuring fruits, flowers, or clear blue skies—and sometimes punctuated by startling violence, such as real-life switchblades thrust into the canvas.
December 1, 2021