The Supernatural World of Jose Luis Vargas

Posted on March 03, 2017 by Erick Rios

Jose Luis Vargas is a Puerto Rican artist who creates with the supernatural in mind. We recently got to stretch one of his massive early works and the results were eerily outstanding. The canvas, dated and signed in 2001, was so huge that it would not fit in our workshop! We ended up building the custom hardwood stretcher and stretching the canvas outside before it was delivered by  Art Delivery Van

Jose Luis Vargas original stretched canvas stretched at Frames and Stretchers on the Lower East Side.
Frames and Stretchers with the completed Jose Luis Vargas canvas.

Vargas's career began at the Art Students League in Old San Juan. After completing two years of study there, he attended Pratt Institute, graduating with a BA in Painting. Subsequently, he attended the Royal College of London earning an MA. He has taught workshops all over the US, England and Puerto Rico throughout his career. Since 2000, he's taken a serious interest in community radio and continues to contribute to the art space in the audio medium. Vargas's radio interests also led him to Mexico City to study sound art. Besides teaching classes at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras, he also founded The Museum of Supernatural History. The Museum of Supernatural History is a multi-genre performance project that brings together artists of different disciplines.

Jose Luis Vargas original stretched canvas stretched at Frames and Stretchers on the Lower East Side.
The Jose Luis Vargas original signed canvas stretched.

Some distinguishing features of Vargas's artwork include humor and allusions to the supernatural. He frequently uses comic book inspired dialogue bubbles to convey light messages from the monsters that frequently grace his work. “In mythology, monsters rise when there’s a crisis." Vargas stated in a 2015 interview. His work is full of monstrous creatures with mythological overtones and mysterious suggestions. He utilizes strong storytelling and fantastical allusions to convey his views with an accessibility that is hard to find. We were excited to stretch this Jose Luis Vargas canvas and hope to do more in the future. Currently he is represented by Roberto Paradise. To see more of his work, check out his page on Roberto Paradise's website. For our day to day happenings and to see what we're framing next, follow us on Instagram. For a quote or to check out our framing selection, stop by the workshop for a visit! 

Jose Luis Vargas original print at Roberto Paradise.

Another original Jose Luis Vargas print. 

Posted in custom framing, frames and stretchers, Jose Luis Vargas, Lower East Side, Puerto Rico, stretcher, techniques, tri state area