Where are you from? Have you ever lived in other cities? Since when you are committed to handicrafts and muralism? Tell me a little more about your learning and your artist practice motivation.
My name is Ricardo Angeles Mendoza and I am from San Martín Tilcajete, Oaxaca. Tilcajete is a small town with Zapotec origins in which the main activity is the creation of wooden figures called alebrijes. My family has a workshop where I learned to use wood and paint. It was a long and tedious process.
Since age six, I’ve been helping in a small part of the process of creating the pieces. Most of the time I sanded the [figurines] and sometimes I painted [them]. At around the age of 12, my parents gave me the freedom to paint my own style on their works. Sometimes I would form them again since they had already been sculpted by other workshop members. The first school where I got my style and roots was my parent’s workshop. My second school was leisure; the teachers there were the Internet and movies I was able to watch through TV and computers as well as books. When my parents traveled, they would buy books on architecture, design, and painting, they weren’t specifically for me, but I would secretly read them. I was never aware that I was being self-taught, but I just felt a profound curiosity and a need to know more in order to broaden my knowledge. Most of the times I used to spend time with older people than me, so I learned from the things they talked about and I felt the responsibility of being informed so I could know what they were talking about. Without a doubt, those conversations were my basis up until three years ago, between 2014-2015. I didn’t really want to study or do anything related to arts, and it was more because of a bad relationship with and confusion with [art]. I felt it was everything for me and nothing at the same time, I was so used to it that for me it was normal.