US Navy veteran turned artist Randy Morales creates pop and street culture inspired pieces in an expressive graphic visual language, imbued with nostalgia. His choice of subjects is strongly influenced by his experience of growing up in the 90s. Working through the feeling of being an outsider much of his life, Morales focuses on characters that would be the less ‘obvious’ popular choice, but that are all the more emotionally evocative to those who recognize them.
A creative for all of his life, the artist did not always have the opportunity to express himself artistically. Being a young African American and Puerto Rican male in Washington state, he was already different from all the other kids and thus chose to hide his creative side. He ended up in the military and there found himself creating at any free moment to pass the time. After completing his military service and earning a degree from FIDM, Morales began working as a fashion designer for major brands. It wasn’t until his TV broke that he had an artistic revelation which sparked a venture into creating visual artworks from recycled materials, and eventually creating original paintings on canvas.
Similar to his childhood, his art is simple but straight to the point. Each piece features his trademark equivocal face. This says that just because the piece is nostalgic it doesn’t have to evoke a memory of happy times - it may bring back visions of a troubled youth or life-changing childhood moments.
Morales’ more abstract paintings center around a marble box, representing his boxed-in emotions. The black and white colours of the box stand for happy and negative feelings, mixed together. His collection of abstract works represents mental well being in hopes of connecting with his audience on a deeply personal level.
The artist currently lives and works in Los Angelas, California.