The RN&R has developed a commitment to highlighting local artists for our Biggest Little Best of Northern Nevada. Ricardo Olvera, 36, caught our eye when we saw early photos of his recent show at the Sheppard Gallery, The Bone Tarot, which incorporated many of the ideas we wanted to emphasize in this year’s Best Of: Latino culture, the best that Northern Nevada offers, the future. He jumped at the chance, creating the beginnings of a whole new tarot and a new way to see Reno.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Mexico City.
When did you start coming to the United States?
I came to the United States in 2009 for the first time when I met Andrea [Daerice Juillerat Olvera, his muse and wife]. I’ve been living for good here since last year.
Where did you get your artistic training?
I studied graphic design in Mexico City. Then I did an online certification for multi-media art. I worked in the graphic industry for like 15 years in Mexico City. Mostly, I worked in the video game industry. I mostly did my artistic training on my own.
You started as a painter, right? Then you went on to other things, like using bones, for example.
I started writing. I write poetry. I have been going on writing, doing visual art. I like to paint, and I’ve tried using found objects, sculpture, assemblage, which is what I do now, with bones.
So tell me about your experience creating the art for Best Of. What was your inspiration? Just kind of walk me through it.
First of all, I wanted to continue with my explorations on the subject of the tarot, which really interests me. This project allowed me to delve deeper into the symbolism of the cards. The Best Of, this project, was also inspired by the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead, and the Lotería board game, and other characters of Mexican culture and folklore, “La Calavera Catrina” by Jose Guadalupe Posada and also the art of Frida Kahlo. Those were really the main inspirations for this project
Was there anything that was technically more difficult for this?
I guess that it was challenging in the way of really putting down my ideas. I don’t know if I’m saying this right, but it was challenging just interpreting on a visual medium my ideas, because they were kind of complex. For sure. But as the project started developing, I was really getting into it. And then it was really fascinating for me. A thrill.
I’ll bet you can’t wait to see it on newsprint.
I can’t wait. I’m super pleased, and I’m very happy.