We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Ramiro Tirado and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Sometimes it feels like art pursued me, not the other way around. In fact, although I did do a lot of work for years in the custom props and similar client-driven and often marketing-related arenas, which in many important ways prepared me for a career in the arts, I kept art at a comfortable arm’s distance for nearly a quarter century, from my early 20’s until my mid forties. When art re-entered the picture for me in 2012, it felt like the tell tale signs were pointing in the same direction, all delivering the unmistakable message: now. Now’s the time. Today, as I approach the ten year anniversary of art creation, it feels like the past decade was yet another level of preparation for the next chapter of artistic discovery. It feels like I may be at the threshold of something new.
Whether or not it becomes a full time artistic practice, as it did for me starting in 2016, I think when one is “wired” to be an artist, it’s the kind of thing that resonates deeply within in a way that each individual piece one makes does when you’re truly engaged and “lost” in the process. Makes me wonder, again, which seat I’m sitting in, the driver’s or the passenger’s?
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve taken a roundabout journey to get to where I am today. In my college years, while studying studio art, I had the opportunity to work for an artist in New York, and during my stint there as his studio assistant, and despite his unflagging encouragement, I realized that my art was rather meaningless. So, as already mentioned, I set aside my artistic hopes and dreams and didn’t return to art, or it to me, for many years.
While part of me wishes I hadn’t waited so long to return to an artistic practice, I know that just as everyone’s interests and individual “marks” are different, everyone’s path is as well. And many life lessons were learned along the way, things that inform the work, often in ways only discernible to me.
Ease is often the enemy of exploration and progress. Effort – sustained effort – is the currency that unlocks the doors both in the macro – careerwise – and the micro – with the work itself. And when you think back over your life, the effortful moments or seasons are the ones you recall with the most clarity as well. They stand out like high mountain peaks in your rear view mirror, and provide important lessons for your path forward.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I once picked up a NYC friend from the airport in Denver and drove directly to Aspen, where he had work included in a show at the Aspen Art Museum. The subject of the show was work having to do with the mountains, from Albert Bierstadt to present day. After viewing the show, we camped at 10,000 feet and, the following day, climbed Colorado’s highest mountain, Mt Elbert. Next day, we made the long drive to Colorado Springs, where I took him rock climbing at the Garden of the Gods, before returning to the airport. It was a rather whirlwind full mountain experience, though perhaps I should have allowed him to acclimatize a bit longer before going from sea level to 14,000 ft!
Had we had more time, I would definitely have taken him to Snowmass, just outside of Aspen, to tour the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, aka (my moniker) “the Magic Kingdom for artists”. I’ve both taken classes and taught there, and the combination of the incredible facilities and the gorgeous surroundings makes the experience artistically unforgettable.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Floyd Tunson was my high school art teacher and the first person who both encouraged my pursuit of an art career and exemplified the work ethic involved in such a pursuit. We have maintained a friendship ever since, and Floyd, a full time artist himself for decades now, continues to set an example of the kind of dogged dedication it takes to pursue a career in the art world. When I grow up, I want to be like him!
Andrew Bordwin Photography for the photo of the hanging piece in the Maven Hotel lobby