06 November, 2010

6 Nov - We will miss you, Chuck Ramirez

LAUNCHPROJECTS - This morning Ben and I awoke to tremendously sad news. San Antonio-based Photographer Chuck Ramirez had a biking accident last night sustaining severe head trauma. He was taken off life support this morning and passed away at 47.

Ramirez processed and deconstructed everyday objects in large-scale photography, isolating and re-contextualizing otherwise discarded, dying, and overlooked materials such as filled garbage bags (pictured above), dying flowers, and battered, empty piƱatas. As described by artist Franco Mondini-Ruiz, biennialist and Rome Prize winner, “he had a profound and tender sensitivity for special things that were overlooked in San Antonio by others, like his mother's kitchen,” he said. “He turned Tex-Mex grandmother's kitchen into international exhibits, and he did appreciate the vulnerability of life and the ephemeral nature of it” (quoted from mysanantonionews.com).

Bill FitzGibbons of the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center described Chuck as "one of the most innovative artists that I've ever known. His medium was photography and he brought a creativeness to photography that I've never really seen before, and feel that he was just in the midst of his career. He had great things ahead, and obviously (his life) was cut too short.”

Chuck's work was included in LAUNCHPROJECTS' debut exhibition, VIVID, in May of 2009 and was scheduled for a two-person exhibition this August with close friend and fellow photographer Rodolfo Choperena (the two pictured above, Chuck on the left). His work abstracted the mundane and overlooked in celebration and homage to the fleeting nature of human existence - and to the exquisite fragility of every moment. Chuck will be remembered by the joy and beauty he found in the broken, abandoned, and neglected and the unique lens though which he gave our world a bit more beauty, a bit more compassion.

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