Rick Araluce amazes us with his miniature constructions of solitary moments in time. Initially, Arluce pursued a career as a painter and illustrator, but his early love of model making drove him toward building miniatures. Look closely to see the contents of his isolated rooms - light bulbs, wiring, nails, all of which Araluce meticulously builds and fabricates by hand.
Araluce, who builds sets for the Seattle Opera by day, creates tiny, and slightly more disturbing, scenery in his own artwork. He wants us to participate in the worlds he creates so gives us just enough of the story or a riddle to spark our own imaginations. His narratives are emotionally charged snapshots of deeper stories that leave us wondering – “what went on here?” There are precedents for this type of art – Joseph Cornell, Michael McMillan, but there are few that bring the level of quality, imagination and sensitivity that Araluce brings to his wonderful little worlds.
The work in this exhibit, three of which were inspired by Araluce’s first visit to Sanibel in 2009, are an interesting juxtaposition between work and play; adult and childhood. And while Araluce’s creations are always devoid of people, several of his new pieces are occupied by objects that he anthropomorphizes – the garden tools in “The Laborers” feel like they have just come in from a hard day’s work and the oil cans in “The Secret Meeting” do seem like they are conspiring – but about what? Araluce spares no detail to amaze and delight us, as he tells a story. The discovery of these details is what keeps us enthralled and engaged in Araluce’s World.
Born in Los Angels, Araluce created art all his life. After graduating from Orange Coast Community College, he pursued a career as an illustrator, sculptor and most recently constructed scenery at the Seattle Opera House. But his love is creating his little worlds for which he was honored with both the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Award and Adolph and Ester Gottlieb Award in 2008.
Araluce regularly exhibits at OK Harris Gallery in NYC and Travers Gallery in Seattle. His work is collected by Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams and other Hollywood notables. In 2011 Araluce will be in an exhibition at The Art and Design Museum in NYC. As a semi-finalist in the audition for Bravo’s Reality Show, The Next Great Artist, you may see him on television in 2011, as well. Araluce currently lives and works in Seattle, Washington with his wife, Kitty Cavanaugh.