"From the past into the future"

Ricardo Casado Mural

216”X 48” - Oil on Canvas

A Visual Chronicle in Progress

By Hortensia Montero

Ricardo Casado's artistic performance in the visual arts, after graduating from Havana Vocational School and his later vocal pedagogy studies at the Higher Institute of Art (ISA) in Havana, determines the plurality of his career, marked by the diversity and resonance of his creative abilities. His virtuosity is notably appreciated in both the visual arts and music. In addition to the expressiveness he achieves in his pictorial repertoire, the author belongs to the renowned group Quarta Prodigia, well known for the exceptional level of vocal and visual interpretation on stage.

A lover of good music, Ricardo enjoys painting with technical mastery, while listening to his favorite songs. The artist is currently involved in the creation of an oil on canvas mural - made up of a triptych, 72 by 48 inches each piece - using different pictorial techniques. This project is a journey through the history of an institution, expressed through symbols. It depicts the growth of an accounting firm, from its beginnings to the present day.

He makes use of visual references, as a guiding thread of the most relevant historical connections in these almost sixty years since the firm’s foundation, and also from his knowledge about the development of this entity, Ricardo conveys this historical synthesis to the painting. At the same time, he expresses on canvas the main philosophical, emotional and practical concerns of this institution, represented through symbolic elements.

The graphic composition is based on an abstract expression, through his characteristic personal style. His artistic sensitivity combines abstract expressionism and figurative art to achieve visibility through allegories. To recreate the unifying elements of this story, he uses two styles representative of his expressive universe. He assumes his particular abstract language as the basis of the composition and uses realism to refer to the symbolic entities that characterize the story he wants to tell.

From a pictorial point of view, his aesthetic discourse in this composition is achieved using a base of colors where the palette is illuminated, tinted by the blues, greens, violet, yellow and black, to reach a seductive set of nuances, conveying detailed information of the most relevant facts of this story. It assumes a narrative component where the emotional and philosophical motivations of the subject matter take precedence.

To do this, he uses a conceptual exploration, which allows him to assume with dexterity the development of this aesthetic scale. Pictorial entities focus on the production of symbolic elements, which tell a sequence of events that have taken place over time to refer to the foundational milestones of such an important institution.

This company has grown considerably by expanding its technical role and its social irradiation. The aim is to reflect the milestones of its existence, through a mural of pure figurative tradition, based on the pictorial narrative component, from the origins of accounting to creation, growth and the present stage of this important consortium.

From the technical point of view, Ricardo obtains the work volume by using oil, and gets visual effects when scraping the paint, aided by the spatula and making use of the roller, achieving the textures that cover the pictorial base. On that surface, he traces the historical trajectory of the institution given its concrete imprint, thanks to his gadgets, his knowledge on the subject and his mastery of pictorial techniques.

The narrated story consists of successive scenes, which denote the addition of elements to guarantee the historical, anecdotal component, which is essential. The colors are directly connected to obtain a formal richness, marked by the quality of drawing and the luminosity of chromatism. The historical facts are like landmarks that evoke the different stages of this route.

Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli (1445 - 1510), a pioneering figure in the history of accounting is highlighted, when in the sixteenth century, he created in Rome the first accounting records and set forth the double entry concept, a fundamental premise of this discipline. On this historical basis, the company was founded in 1959 with one accountant -Gary Gerson- with the objective of providing accounting services to a few clients. It started in Miami Beach servicing small businesses located in Hialeah and has expanded considerably to a firm that delivers a wide spectrum of accounting services. The former location for 58 years was recently moved to Wynwood, in the heart of the Miami Art District because of the consistent growth of the business.

The most relevant events in the history of this team are represented in summary, including the representation of offices among which figures the founder’s, who still preserves the same desk of his beginnings (the only piece of furniture that was moved to the new permises), as well as other cherished objects, among them, a vintage clock, an old adding machine, a lamp, a pen, all mementos and essential symbols that help understand the transcendence of this institution.

The State of Florida is represented as the place where their offices were founded, first in the city of Miami Beach, and then expanded to Boca Raton. An accounting worksheet is represented full of numbers, to be replaced by the emergence of computers; as well as a calendar, with pages torn each day. The image of a handshake, a symbol of a closed deal; a day 15, representing a deadline for filing tax returns. Finally, the company's economic growth and its important economic contribution to the private health system, are represented by Mount Sinai Hospital, as well as other community services and their impact on the sustainability of the firm.

It is evident how this company has experienced substantial growth through its history expressed by the list of named partners who have joined the firm from its beginnings like Richard Preston followed by Steve Klein, Alan Lips, Dorothy Eisenberg and Cliff Gelber, it is worth to mention that the firm name is the center of the art piece.

The University of Florida (UF) Business School of Accounting has been named "Gary R. Gerson Hall" in recognition of the founding partner of the firm. As another example of the firm’s contributions to continuing education, is revealed the importance of the firm's by-weekly meetings and training sessions that keep employees updated. Reference is made to the just graduated students, who carry out community work, being inserted in newly-formed companies to assist them with their Business School of Accounting acquired knowledge, and thus contribute to the economic growth as a whole.

Finally, visualized is the fourth floor of a building -where this work will be exhibited- the current location of the company, containing its recorded history from its beginning, to show its professional growth and the level of specialization achieved.

The mural, loaded with color and expressiveness, highlights Ricardo Casado’s pictorial talent and diversity. The artist balances the diverse forces that converge in this complex mosaic to narrate this historic route through images, which evoke the notches of a process full of challenges, hopes and success.

Casado possesses a charm that is revealed in his artistic poetry. He communicates with images, in which his predominant note is his motley basic composition, as well as his realistic treatment of events. The hypnotic fluency of his images is evidenced in his artistic discourse and by showing his ability to transform ordinary experience into fantasy, his magical way of explaining the world. Because of his sophisticated fusion, he emphasizes the conceptual foundation, entwining the foundational milestones of the institution with the later and recent results obtained by great professional talents.

The poetic findings that characterize this triptych are centered on demonstrating the vitality and soul of an institution that integrates itself into a social canvas. It is critical to visualize how this narrative sequence is expressed through the richness, freshness and complexity characteristic of his art. By capturing the sensitivity of this significant fact, he uses fantasy and poetic charm to make reality more understandable and fascinating.