100 Colorado Creatives 3.0: Ramon Bonilla

A mural by Ramón Bonilla at RedLine.EXPAND
A mural by Ramón Bonilla at RedLine.
Courtesy of Ramon Bonilla
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#36: Ramón Bonilla

Hailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ramón Bonilla is in his second year as a RedLine resident and part of the stable at Michael Warren Contemporary in the Art District on Santa Fe. As an artist, Bonilla repurposes techniques from the drafting and mapping sketchbook, re-envisioning the landscape as hard-edged and minimal in angular mixed-media paintings, installations and murals. As Bonilla winds down his time at RedLine and looks forward to the next independent stage of his professional life, we asked him to open up his mind to the public by answering the 100CC questionnaire.

Ramón Bonilla at rest.
Ramón Bonilla at rest.
Courtesy of Ramón Bonilla

Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Ramón Bonilla: Yves Klein — to collaborate with and gain knowledge about minimalism, Judo, unaided lunar travel and the stewardship of the ethereal space surrounding the planet.

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

Everybody is interesting in their own way. But a particular statement made by Elon Musk caught my attention. Musk believes that there is a high probability that the human race is living in some sort of computer simulation. For me this is a thought-provoking, existential and eschatological statement that proves that some people are attached to our lives in order to do the evil gospel of Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde. There is no other explanation.

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

Art calls involving an entry fee for artists or "pay to show opportunities.” Just a glitch in Musk's world where a plumber or a teacher are not expected to work for free or "donate" their labor.

Bonilla in the studio.
Bonilla in the studio.
Courtesy of Ramón Bonilla

What's your day job?

I work for DURA [Denver Urban Renewal Authority], with the City and County of Denver, as a bilingual intake specialist for the housing program. I am part of a team providing services to qualified Denver homeowners who need financial assistance to do essential or emergency home repairs.

A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?

Design affordable housing and public spaces. Develop minimalist arcade games. Produce a dystopian film tentatively titled Turkish Brave New World Delight.

Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?

Denver's art community is more open to sharing and collaborating than those in other cities where I have lived before. It is very exciting to be part of a developing art scene. I also enjoy the dynamism of the weather, the coziness of the sun and splendor of the mountains.

Bonilla in the studio.
Bonilla in the studio.
Courtesy of Ramón Bonilla

What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?

Stimulate the integration of the arts into the commonality of life, just as it has already done with sports or music, in order to develop a culture around the arts that is stronger and more inclusive and sustainable.

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

I admire Dominic “Cano” Espinosa for building Cano's Castle.

What's on your agenda in the coming year?

I am organizing a group of international artists working within the realm of minimalism and post-minimalism in order to put together various group shows. I will be working with a series of tri-dimensional pieces and also completing the second year of my residency with RedLine.

Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?

There are many local artists who deserve greater attention, and I hope to see them getting the opportunities and recognition they deserve during 2017.

See work by the artist in the 2017 RedLine residents' show Nice Work If You Can Get It, currently on view at RedLine through February 26. Learn more about Ramón Bonilla online.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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