Studio Secrets with Ricardo Alcaide

March 7, 2024

Contemporary artist Ricardo Alcaide examines constructed lived-in environments.

Born in 1967 in Venezuela, the artist's minimal aesthetic is influenced by modernist architecture and his site specific works reflect on the social implications of urban planning and ghettoisation. Alcaide’s work is included in von Bartha’s group exhibition New Ideas for Other Times, where works are consigned to be sold through Arcual. We sat down with him to learn more.

What does a typical day in the studio look like for you?

I work in my studio every day, office hours most of the time, even when I’m not actively producing. I usually work on a body of work -on schedule- for specific projects that sketches, models and tests have previously defined. Sometimes , I do some experiments without a particular purpose; I get ideas by accident during my day. I work on my own , so every day, I have to split into different tasks, between working on the computer, searching materials, testing colours, cuttings, assembling or painting.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am producing new pieces without thinking about a specific show or project; some of them are based on previous works but with gradient colour backgrounds. I keep thinking about colour, which is always an important part of my work, and also about the dynamic between materials. I want to randomly place the found objects and studio debris into the painting surfaces. For me, it is about an emotional connection during this process. I am currently displaying the compositions all over my studio, improvising as much as I can.  

Do you have any rituals connected to your practice?

I like to think logistically and organise my space rigorously between projects. 

What can’t you live without in the studio?

Natural light. 

How has tech most shaped your practice?

Technology is always around, even when I am not too conscious about it. It defines somehow the industrial materials that I use and is also present when I use digital tools as part of my process.

How do you think blockchain technology can help shape the future of the art ecosystem?

It is still a little abstract to me, but I want to be open to new technologies and changes; it will bring new tools to the whole equation in the art world. It seems to bring a great deal of efficiency and transparency to the art industry, another step forward.

Which artist working today most inspires you?

I don’t follow one in particular, but always come across so many artists works in museums, art galleries or social media that can inspire me in many ways. However, the best inspiration comes in the most unexpected way, most of the time not necessarily from the artworld.

How do you think collectors' relationship with art has developed over recent years?

I feel that the collectors’ world has become widely complex, it definitely has developed in many good and yet unexpected directions. At times we witness an art world overtaken by trends or speculations that are not necessarily stable in the long run. But there are also more collectors interested in meeting the artists, which for me is a very enjoyable experience, and it improves the collectors’ understanding and the connection with my work.

Do you have a favourite museum or art gallery?

There are so many wonderful places everywhere and it would be hard to mention just one. I always feel a special connection with the Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich. But the most impressive and most beautiful I’ve ever seen, is an intimate and austere art space that is not longer open to the public, built by Hans-Jörg Ruch in S-Chanf, Switzerland, where I had the pleasure of exhibiting a site-specific project with von Bartha a few years ago. Another fascinating space to be mentioned is the Leme Gallery, a Brazilian brutalist building in Sao Paulo originally conceived by Paulo Mendes da Rocha.

What would you be if you weren't an artist?

Any kind of creative developer.

Subscribe to our ‍newsletter for the latest art and technology news and more stories from Arcual's community of innovators.

Pictured: Ricardo Alcaide in his Studio.