The Salvaged Art of Ricardo Cardenas

History’s best artists manage to use their skills and imagination to hold up a mirror to the world.  Their works evoke emotions in the viewer in ways that mere description cannot.  Mexican artist Ricardo Cardenas successfully manages to reflect the world around him in his artwork, including tragic and disastrous events.  Yet, his artwork also offers hope to the viewer.  Cardenas does this by combining a vibrant, energetic painting style on top of reclaimed, industrial materials.


Ricardo has managed to cope with exquisite pictorial distress in their concrete, putting his knowledge of civil engineering to provide the perfect solutions methods to mount his heavy artwork on the wall of many collectors thru the world.

His Style


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Cardenas is relatively new to the world of fine art.  Founder of Contemporary Art Projects USA, Tata Fernandez, began representing Ricardo Cardenas in the United States in 2015.  Since then he has had a full schedule of showings in America, including the 2017 Red Dot Miami.  Cardenas’ background is in engineering and he uses industrial materials, such as concrete and steel bars in his artwork.  The salvaging of materials gives his art a story before he even begins working.

From there, Carenas also draws upon his Mexican heritage and his own unique voice to create vibrate works of art that create beauty from literal rubble.


The variation of colors of their culture… the exuberant flora and scenes of urban life are a source of inspiration for this young Mexican artist.

2017 Central Mexico Earthquake


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Tragedy struck Central Mexico in September of 2017.  Experts registered a 7.1 earthquake near Puebla, which caused extensive damage in Puebla, Morelos and all around Mexico City.  More than 360 people are known to have lost their lives in the earthquake, and more than 40 buildings collapsed in Mexico City alone.

Red Dot Miami



Cardenas exhibited several pieces at December’s Red Dot Miami show.  The exhibition centered around a piece entitled “El Juego de la Frida.” The piece is on top of a 72 x 72 inch piece of concrete with reinforced steel that was previously recovered from the Mexican earthquake in September.  The Red Dot Miami website described this work in this way:


For this extraordinary Artwork, he merges on a double tribute the ART of two Great Masters: Frida Kahlo (b. 1907-d. 1954, Mexico) and Andy Warhol (b. 1928-d. 1987, USA), using paint and also collage on a reminiscence of the popular Tic Tac Toe game that allows him to depict several images of Frida displayed in the characteristic multicolored Warhol manner. His tributes and the fusion that Cardenas creates between the diverse artistic visions are just perfect.


This piece is a prime example of how Cardenas is able to find beauty in even terrible circumstances.  The way he transforms salvaged building materials into stunning pieces of art is a statement to the world.  Even the worst of circumstances can be made into something worthwhile and hopeful.  We hope to see more of this inspiring contemporary artist in the future!  So, do you love art?  Be sure also to get to Germany’s Documenta Art Fair.

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The Salvaged Art of Ricardo Cardenas