Painting the pictures in his head is a gift Vargas was born with; he recalls painting when he was just three years old. Although he creates murals, sculptures and drawings, Vargas’ medium of choice is oils, charcoal and canvas and portraits of people appear often in his work. Vargas honed his craft at Los Angeles County High School, an acclaimed performing arts school in downtown Los Angeles. Recognition also came at an early age. As a teenager two of his murals became part of the permanent collection of the Western Heritage Museum and he painted another permanent mural at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court. He went on to attend Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York where he continued his studies. After college Vargas began working for Latin music pioneer Ralph Mercado’s renowned record label RMM Records as the company’s West Coast retail marketing rep. For five years, he was the talent buyer for The Conga Room bringing in top acts like Tito Puente and introducing new musical genres to the L.A. scene. After resigning from the popular night club, Vargas immediately resumed his artistic career.
Vargas is extremely proud of his Mexican heritage and his East L.A. upbringing. However, he says, “I’ve never really qualified my work along ethnic lines. My work may not have a traditional Latin image, but my name is on there and my experiences are in every mark. Me being Latino declares itself before I say a word.”
Check out more of Vargas’s work on his website www.vargaspresents.com or see his latest show on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at the procession from Little Tokyo to Eastside Luv at 11:00 a.m. “So much has been made about the crossing of east to west in search of opportunity, my walk from west to east is signifying the change of that perception,” Vargas says. Or you can join the artist reception from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Eastside Luv Wine and Queso Bar 1835 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles, California where his new work is exhibited and he will also do a few live portraits.
Can’t make it the show, but want to see what everyone is talking about? Check out Robert’s work with Far East Movement, at DTLA where Vargas created a mural in front of an audience of the electro-hip hop group followed by the group’s own live performance.
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