I am, Miguel Rangel.
My mediums vary from collage, transparency film, and house paint to graphite. My latest work uses graphite on paper and canvas.
Tell us about your upcoming exhibition (if applicable):
Recently, I opened an exhibit at my gallery, Art at The DEN. We’re located in The W Hotel and Residence. It’s a group show titled, We Started The Fire, with fellow artists Nina Berenato and Wes Thompson. My work touches on themes of wealth distribution, the plight of the working class and the dichotomy between Black Culture in America vs the world.
What are you working on now?
Over the past year I’ve been increasingly interested in contemporary social issues that are at the forefront of the American narrative. Despite my liberal leanings, I hope that the work moves beyond politics and expresses the humanity at the root of these issues.
What draws you to your medium?
Last year, my work utilized media such as collage and paint but this year I’ve been reverting to graphite which is my favorite medium. For me, there is something romantic about pencil. It’s simplicity appeals to me. My current work seeks to deconstruct current social issues so using pencil as my main medium seems fitting. I wanted to strip away all the layers I normally employ and create something that compliments what I’m attempting to do.
How long have you been an artist and how your practice changed over time?
I’ve been an artist since I was child. My aunt taught me how to draw when she would take care of me. If I wasn’t drawing, I was making things out of mud and rocks in my backyard. However, it wasn’t till I had a back injury that prevented me from working that I began to pursue art professionally. I spent a lot of time drawing and collaging from my bed or couch when one of my best friends and artist, Jason Archer, encouraged me to pursue art more seriously. Not soon after, my two friends approached me to have my first show at their gallery in East Austin. My first show was a success with the support of my dear friend and patron of the arts, Justine Gilcrease. It was all so surreal and I consider myself incredibly lucky to have so much support from my friends and family.
In your opinion, what does the Austin arts community need as the city continues grow?
Austin is a creative town and that’s something I’ve always enjoyed about it. However, lots of attention is focused on music and I would love to see equal if not more support for visual arts. I currently have the privilege of working for DEN Property Group as their Curatorial Director. The founders, Will Steakley and Bryan Cady, are huge art enthusiasts and both believe that art plays an important role in shaping in our community. When the real estate agency moved into their office at in The W, they wanted to show their support of the arts by using their space as a gallery. The DEN hosts numerous art exhibits a year and offers artists a platform to exhibit work. They also sponsor several arts organizations here in Austin. That kind of support for the local arts community should be adopted by more businesses in town. It would not only create more opportunities for artists but also create a diverse and rich arts scene. I’m incredibly fortunate to have the trust and support of DEN Property Group.
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Native Austinite. Human. Citizen of the world.