At the City Council’s Special Presentations on April 18, Vice Mayor Stephen Shelley honored Ricardo Arnaldo as Homestead’s Artist in the Spotlight for April and May 2018. An exhibit of Arnaldo’s landscape photography opened at the Seminole Theatre on April 23 and will run through the end of May.
Vice Mayor Shelley explained, “The purpose of Artist in the Spotlight program is to help local artists display their work and get recognition. It’s hard as an artist sometimes to get your work out there and let people see you and know what you do.”
Vice Mayor Shelley invited Arnaldo to talk about his photography. After thanking Vice Mayor Shelley for his support, Arnaldo said, “I’ve lived in Redland for 17 years on five acres of a natural forest community. I’ve done a lot of my photos there.” His subject is “nature, landscapes, flowers and just about anything.” Arnaldo is represented by galleries in Miami and also sells his work through stock agencies in the United States and in Europe. His work has been featured both in advertising and publications, including The Miami Herald and Oxygen Magazine.
He continued, “My real love of photography is the art of it, which is a lot harder to do than illustration. I’m going not for what you actually see in a photograph, but what you can actually imagine or get out of the photograph. I call it ethereal, mysterious, romantic. It hits the eye of the person who’s seeing it.”
Arnaldo said he “considers his images a constant celebration of light.” His work highlights light and shadow reflected on natural subjects, forests, cityscapes or the human figure. Using his attraction to color, texture and light, he creates an imaginary reality out of a concrete situation.
He showed a photo of trees in his backyard with the morning light streaming through them, explaining, “There’s a mist. You can actually touch the air. Sunrise is my favorite time. I like to interact with [the subject] and make another sort of reality in my pictures.”
Recently, Arnaldo has been experimenting with what others have called "camera paint," making a photograph look more like a surreal painting that seems to transcend reality.
More about Ricardo Arnaldo: Born in Havana, at the age of 14, Arnaldo moved to New York City, as a Cuban exile. He received a bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York and a master's degree from Florida International University. He lived in New York for many years and then, San Francisco, before moving to Miami. His introduction to photography came as a result of playing with 35mm cameras that were loaned to him. He soon discovered that he had an eye for composition. His childhood left a big impression on him, including his memories of Havana's colors and shadows, along with its sense of mystery. Ricardo taught history and photography in Miami's public schools for many years, and also published a photography book called "Celebration of Light,” with photos of Redland. For more information about Arnaldo, go to www.redlandphoto.com.
If you are interested in participating in Homestead’s Artist in the Spotlight program, or know of a local artist in the area from Broward, Dade or Monroe Counties, please contact Vice Mayor Shelley’s office at 305-224-4447 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Artists who live in or near the City of Homestead will be given preference.