“Most tubed paint today is full of fillers and stabilizers... The result is ...a certain bland sameness to the rheology and handling of the paint on the palette and under the brush. This is far from the case with Rublev Colours Artist Oils.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in Hollywood and raised in the urban sprawls of Los Angeles, Julio’s artistic aesthetic was shaped early on by the platinum light and expansive concrete horizons of southern California. Often depicting lone figures within the context of a landscape, Reyes’ chooses his subjects carefully. His works focus on intimate dramas, revealing brief moments of unnoticed grandeur, tender souls grappling with the pressures of modern life. These sensitive portrayals are the result of careful observation, intimate knowledge of his subjects, and are executed with finesse and virtuosity. His landscapes and still lives are imbued with implied narrative and hidden meaning, and a highly personal symbolic language born of Reyes’ experience growing up in the Western United States, as the son of immigrant parents.
At the age of 28, Julio won Best in Show, in the 2010 ARC Annual Salon Competition—the Art Renewal Center’s top honor. In 2011, Reyes had his debut solo exhibition at Arcadia Gallery in New York. The following year he won the prestigious, William F. Draper Grand Prize at the Portrait Society of America’s 2012 Annual Portrait Competition—making him one of only two artist to have won the highest honor at both major American art competitions. Reyes earned his BFA in Painting, Drawing and Sculpture at the Laguna College of Art and Design in 2005. His work has been featured in dozens of books and magazines, exhibited in multiple countries and museums, is collected all over the world, and has been awarded the highest accolades given by the Portrait Society of America, the Art Renewal Center, the California Art Club, and more. He recently relocated to Texas with artist and wife Candice Bohannon, where they welcomed their first child, and are offering workshops for the first time.
He is represented by Arcadia Contemporary.
The most meaningful sources of inspiration in my art are the people, places, and things I know best. As a child, my imagination was fueled by family stories of tremendous adversity, sorrow, perseverance, and the incredible deeds of those who journeyed far to become American citizens. As such, I have always been moved by the human capacity to love, dream, and persevere, with great courage and sincerity, in spite of what can seem like a vast and un-sympathetic Nature. To a cynical art world that may sound silly, but to me it is one of the miracles, and beautiful mysteries of life.
I want to create art for the rest of my life according to my highest calling and fullest abilities. If I can transmit, through my work, even the smallest semblance of the love and awe that I have for life —I will have truly done something. I want to look back on a life of meaningful and serious works of art; art that stands against the growing nihilism of our time—and with fixed purpose celebrates the beauty and immensity of life.
JULIO ON RUBLEV COLOURS
I’ve never seen a paint company with such high integrity, in their commitment to the quality of their products and the values for which they stand. Most tubed paint today is full of fillers and stabilizers, and many companies offer mixed hues in place of the real pigments. The result is weaker colors due to small pigment loads, and a certain bland sameness to the rheology and handling of the paint on the palette and under the brush. This is far from the case with Rublev Colours Artist Oils. To my mind, their selection of lead whites are exquisite, and irreplaceable. Every color they offer has it’s own inherent characteristics and appearance, these differences were valued and appreciated, not only by the early masters but by anyone who grinds their own oil paint, or would like to, but due to the time and effort required, has relegated hand-ground paint to an impractical luxury of the past. The introduction of cadmiums to the Rublev line of colors is a welcome addition, and their new Cadmium Red is in regular use on my palette. I absolutely love the Velasquez Medium, and Oleogel has become an indispensable part of my process—vital when painting indirectly or in layers. A few years ago I was given a wonderful impromptu introductory lesson to egg tempera by George and Tatiana, and have been hooked ever since. Rublev Colours Aqueous Dispersions have proven to be a great time saver when mixing fresh egg tempera.
Here are the colors most often used on my palette:
Ultramarine Blue (Green Shade)
Blue Ridge Yellow Ocher
Cadmium Red Light
Minium (Red Lead)
French Burnt Sienna
Cypress Burnt Umber Warm
Lead White #1 and #2
JULIO REYES PALETTE
Headwinds, oil on linen, 23 x 36, 2011
Vessels, oil on panel, 32 x 62, 2014
Heart of August, egg tempera (all pigments were Rublev Colours Aqueous Dispersions) on ACM panel, primed with traditional gesso (Rublev Colours Easy Gesso), 9 x 10, 2018
Sparrow, oil on copper panel, 10 x 8, 2014