Enter Providence: During his residency at AS220 this past February, Ramiro Davaro-Comas produced a series of paintings and illustrations that convey his own particular vision of the city. A figure enters the city through a warp tunnel, and is transported to Ramiro’s Providence; an alternate universe where the blend of popular culture and advertisement create a whimsical, surreal landscape.
From Roller Derby girls to kickball players to Satin Doll strippers, Ramiro’s characters explore the city, interacting with their surroundings and with each other. The city of Providence is a vibrant DIY scene of art and fashion, and Ramiro’s characters convey all of these elements. The elaborate details that form the characters —their bodies, activities, clothing, and accessories— all tell stories of love, friendship and rivalry. There is a touch of magical realism in his work, as the mundane becomes fantastic.
The female character depicted in his painting “Outside Providence” steps into a warp tunnel, into reality or fantasy? She leaves the city toward an unknown destination, in the same way Ramiro does, perhaps toward a different city. This series will form part of a bigger collection in which Ramiro portrays different cities from around the world, including Amsterdam, Berlin, and Barcelona. Exit Providence. Ramiro has left the building, but leaves behind a unique depiction of this tiny, but wholesome city.
Review by William Staffeld.