11 Apr Artist to Watch: FR Bonnin Brings Magic to the Canvas
In our constant search for beauty and rich expression, this year we came across the work of a great artist and his vibrant, large-scale works, and he’s definitely put a spell on us. FR Bonnin, who lives and works out of his studio in Ponce, Puerto Rico, has set a high bar for local artists and is definitely ready to make an even bigger mark this summer. After a huge success at his first solo exhibition last year, FR Bonnin has catapulted into the homes and venues of collectors and businesses across the Island and now makes his debut in Texas with several pieces at a trendy new gallery in Downtown Austin. We sat down with the talented painter and here’s what he had to share with Eclectic Vignette:
EV: Why did you decide to become an artist?
FRB: “It was not a decision, it never was, it is a simple reflection of the deepest desires of my body and soul. I constantly feel that I must create, create and dream in painting, in color, in forms. I really just can’t help myself.”
EV: How did you prepare for and enter the art world?
FRB: “Since my first art classes in school, I was intrigued by the creative process of art. Then in college, this urge was deepened with more advanced studies, and my passion became something more real and palpable; art played a big role during my years of architecture studies in California and Switzerland. The sculpture and drawing lessons exposed me to a very strong process where for the first time I had to translate my complex visual perception into my hands by drawing or shaping three-dimensional figures. It blew my mind. After more than 25 years in my architecture career and over 130 successful projects, I felt I couldn’t fight it any longer: paint was still calling me. I am so glad I have allowed this medium to take me along this path of continuous creation.”
EV: Tell us about your travels
FRB: “I have been very blessed to have been exposed to the works of great teachers throughout my life, having visited over 100 cities in 30 countries. Their museums, parks, architecture and public spaces have captivated me and made huge footprints along my journey. One of my great passions is to spend time at the National Parks looking for inspiration of natural beauty. These sights of virgin lands offer a great sense of freedom and peace.”
EV: What elements of your life and your environment inspire your work?
FRB: “Absolutely everything! My eyes are the filter of my life; I am highly stimulated and inspired by a rich, in-detail visual perception. Everything for me is a contrast of light and shadow, and my island of Puerto Rico gives me continuous pictures of great color and inspires me with a passion for life. Also, I have always been deeply moved by the beauty found in nature, or by sublime artistic expression; a great landscape or a great piece of art excites me and sometimes makes me cry. I have always tried my hardest to transmit those great feelings on the canvas, to evoke that sensibility and deep sense of joy to others through my work. I always remind myself that I am truly blessed to be able to explore the world and nurture an immensity of visual treasures.”
EV: What is your most important goal with your artwork?
FRB: “To make my family and my audience happy with my work. I will always try hard to awaken something that perhaps you didn’t know was within you; to bring beauty to the world. I am a peaceful person who seeks a natural balance in life. I hope my work reflects that and inspires peace, harmony, and love. Each composition of shapes and colors seeks to create a new spatial sensation of color and textures.”
“For me, part of the magic is not knowing the final product. Each canvas is a musical note looking for rhythm and order in my world,” explains FR Bonnin
EV: What do you like most about this job?
FRB: “Freedom of expression, there are no regulations, codes or rules… only your imagination and the space that your canvas gives you.”
EV: What do you like least about being an artist?
FRB: “It’s a very personal viewpoint, but I think that throughout history, art critics and media have had way too much influence over the public opinion and perception of artists and their work. I hope we can take a clear and direct message to our followers through the merits and quality of our work.”
EV: What do you want to achieve as an artist this year?
FRB: “My goal is to continue exploring all my ideas through color on the canvas. There are so many ideas and inspirations but very little time… 24 hours a day is not enough for everything I want to do. I want to continue a sincere and original evolution as an artist.”
EV: What do you want to achieve as an artist in the next 10 years?
FRB: “This process is very personal. Although the creative vein for as long as I can remember, my art has really made me know myself in more profound ways and further explore my creativity. I hope it takes me to more and more places around the globe, as I’m working hard to gain recognition as a noteworthy artist in the contemporary art world in the Caribbean and beyond. In any case, I want to constantly create unique pieces that project joy and peace. Deep emotion!”