Raciel Esperanza creates large scale oil paintings in a muralistic style. Inspired by his surroundings and subconscious, his drawings and paintings are a reflection of his imagination. The painting process begins with an idea, or from a drawing previously made. Eventually that image molds into the canvas and, like a seed, it grows. The painting takes on a life of its own, finding its own conflicts and hurdles. It also guides him to find a resolution. The artwork is always evolving until it finds its independence and transforms into its own identity. Raciel uses techniques that he has learned by experimenting without any restrictions. These paintings consist of many layers of paint and he often recycles paint colors left over from previous works. Charcoal, flowers, herbs, and spices are often incorporated in addition to paint. For Raciel, it is a spontaneous response to use these organic materials and to discover unique effects as a result. The creative process becomes a lyrical language. Raciel listens, translates and proposes, then leaves it to the viewer to interpret and imagine their own story.
Raciel Luis Esperanza (b. 1962) is a contemporary self-taught Mexican artist from Ocotlán de Morelos, Oaxaca, MX. Raciel’s work spans a range of mediums and physical forms ranging from bold mural-sized oil paintings to thousands of small, delicate works on paper. His work often incorporates found organic and repurposed discarded materials in his art including metal, wire, flower petals, herbs, berries, milk cartons, cardboard, dirt — a process going back to his childhood in Mexico.
As a child, Raciel lived and breathed art. Since art supplies were scarce and expensive, he used found materials (wire, plants, paper, and plastic) to create sculptures, toys, paper mâché masks, and piñatas. He made puppets, and mechanical movies — hand-drawn scenes on spools of paper attached to a crank, to put on performances for neighborhood kids, giving his mother the money he collected. When Raciel was in high school, his uncle, Oaxacan painter, Liborio Lopez Navarrete, taught him how to stretch and gesso a canvas. In the late ‘80s, Raciel moved from Mexico to Los Angeles, CA and eventually to Santa Fe, NM. Inspired by the great Mexican painters and muralists David Alfaro Siqueiros, Diego Rivera, and José Clemente Orozco, and acclaimed Oaxacan painter and family friend, Rodolfo Morales, Raciel began work on a series of large-scale paintings on unstretched canvas, known as The Santa Fe Murals.
Raciel currently lives in Oakland, CA where he continues to paint and make art.