For Ricardo Roig, being creative is a way to make sense of the world and at the same time make it a more wonderful place to live. “Art really has the power to uplift and bring people together, and so not only do I do that authentically by being an artist, it’s just who I am,” he says. “It has always been a part of me.”
Growing up in Westfield, he loved to sketch people he knew, including his fellow students. In 2006, one of his professors introduced him to the technique of cutting shapes out of paper to create depth in his works. “Using that technique, I created The Room, and it unlocked something inside of me. It was like falling in love or into a new universe.”
Today, Ricardo is well-known for his hand-cut stencil-layered paintings. “I don't define myself; I always find myself, but I can say that my style is modern, innovative and vibrant,” he says. “I didn't want to be just another artist - I wanted to provide something new to the world so that it could inspire people in new ways. And I love doing it. It brings me to life and is a physical manifestation of my spirit.”
Many of his creations depict people and places from his hometown, like the Rialto theater, as well as other places he’s visited and people he’s met throughout his life. While his work The Room was his first love, another piece that has a special place in his heart is The Trumpeter. “In 2017, I created The Trumpeter after visiting Nick's, a jazz club outside of Boston. While there, I could see this trumpeter blasting away and doing what he loved. When I created this piece, I developed color, but I also wanted people to hear and feel the instrument.”
Depicting this musician made him realize that as an artist, his style and talent will always evolve. “The Room was my first piece, but then every piece I’ve done since then has been an evolution of it.”
Now living in Scotch Plains with his wife, Michelle, and children, 5-year-old Ricardo and 2-1/2-year-old Matias, he was honored to be asked to do the artwork for the February cover of Scotch Plains Lifestyle magazine. “For this issue, I wanted to have a new piece that I was inspired to do specifically for my children's hometown. I'm so proud and blessed to live and raise my kids here.”
His goal was to depict the image of downtown, and include places where he and his family spend time. Black Drop Coffee, where he stops regularly, is there, as is the steeple of the church where Ricardo attends daycare.
While many artists are solitary, Ricardo believes in the power of people coming together. “When you can come together, it's just magic, and that's what this cover is all about. The magic of people coming together and what they’re trying to do here.”
In addition to owning and running two galleries with his wife in Hoboken at the W Hotel and in Westfield, he’s also the artist-in-residence at Kean University. He’s excited to be holding a show there on January 25.
“I'm half Cuban and half Dominican, and I grew up with good values and I'm happy to share myself and my talent with others,” he says. “When you share your heart with the world, the world grows smaller as your heart grows bigger.”
Ricardo receives commissions for his talent from all over the country and would love to make a special piece for your home or business. To see his unique and exceptional works of art, make an appointment to visit one of his galleries, and also check out his Instagram page.
“Allowing myself to put myself in other people's shoes, sharing kindness, showing up for the moment, and being mindful - all of that goes into my art.”
"It brings me to life and is a physical manifestation of my spirit.”
"When you can come together, it's just magic"