In the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary art, certain artworks catch the eye and capture the imagination more vividly than others. Such was the case for the Munchies Art Club team when we stumbled upon the striking work of Fabian Ramírez through the Instagram page of Danny First "The Cabin" with the stunning result of his Artist Residency. 

Currently, Ramírez's exceptional talents are on full display in a captivating exhibition titled "Firing of the Idols" at Castor Gallery London, offering an immersive experience that continues to challenge and expand our perceptions of modern art.

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Fabian Ramírez: Exhibition view "Firing of the Idols" at Castor Gallery | Image Courtesy of the Gallery

His vibrant and thought-provoking pieces resonated deeply with Our Idea to write an article about him called „Fire walks with me," an evocative phrase that perfectly encapsulates the intense and fiery essence of Ramírez's art.

"The personal character of it remains the presence of that transformation of sense by my practice and myself, reflecting on how 'The Burning of the Idols' reinterprets colonial and religious narratives within the modern context of an English church transformed into a gallery." Fabian Ramírez

Fire, wax, painting, yes we can smell it and we want to know more.

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Fabian Ramírez: Studio Potrait | Photo: Hew Hood

Our initial encounter with Ramírez’s work on social media was a gateway to a deeper engagement.

Intrigued by his unique approach to contemporary themes and his bold use of colors and forms, we reached out to him on Instagram, which lead to an invitation for Ramírez to be featured in an article focusing on his artistic journey and his current exhibition.

Fire Starter: Igniting New Realities with Fabian Ramírez

Fabian Ramírez’s collaboration with Castor Gallery marks a significant chapter in his artistic development.

Renowned for its vibrant and progressive showcase of contemporary art, Castor Gallery proves to be an ideal setting for Ramírez’s distinctive style, which masterfully balances the seen and unseen. 

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Fabian Ramírez: Twice Born, 2024 Encaustic on fired wooden panel 200 x 240 cm ( Castor Gallery London) -> Image Courtesy of the Gallery

This partnership arrives at a key moment, as Ramírez's recent engagement at The Cabin—an initiative spearheaded by Danny First—has significantly shaped this phase of his career.

At The Cabin, Ramírez ventured deeper into the connections between shamanism and contemporary culture, using psychedelic insights to challenge and redefine our perceptions of reality. 

These explorations are vividly reflected in his latest exhibition, "Firing of the Idols," where his evolving artistic vision engages and transforms viewer experiences at Castor Gallery.

Firing of the Idols: Current Exhibition with Fabian Ramirez at Castor Gallery

The exhibition "Firing of the Idols" features a series of large-scale paintings that embody his theoretical and practical explorations of shamanistic practices.

Through a combination of traditional and innovative techniques, Ramírez employs layers of transparency and opacity to play with the viewer’s perception.

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Castor Gallery London: Fabian Ramírez exhibition "Firing of the Idols" Installation View | Image Courtesy of the Artist
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Castor Gallery London showcases 'Firing of the Idols,' featuring new works by promising artist Fabian Ramírez. Pictured here is 'Grazie Mille 3,' 2024, encaustic on fired wooden panel, 90 x 60 cm. | Image Courtesy by the Gallery

The artworks are characterized by a vibrant interplay of colors and forms that suggest motion and transformation, echoing the artist's interest in the ephemeral and the eternal.

Central to Ramírez’s work is the concept of ‘conquering perception’. Each piece invites the audience to navigate through layers of visible and hidden elements, encouraging a personal journey into the artwork.

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Castor Gallery: Artist Fabian Ramírez with 'Firing of the Idols' installation view at Trinity Church, Islington | Image Courtesy by the Gallery

This interactive process is reflective of shamanistic practices, which often involve transcending ordinary reality to access deeper spiritual truths.

Castor Gallery at Holy Trinity Church, Islington

Castor Gallery, a prominent art space formerly located in Fitzrovia and Deptford, has recently moved into its new home at the historic Holy Trinity Church in Cloudesley Square, Islington.

This remarkable transformation has converted a once-dilapidated church into a vibrant new gallery space in the heart of London.

"Firing of the Idols" by Mexican artist Fabian Ramírez is the inaugural exhibition at this location.

Set against the church’s dramatic architecture, Ramirez's work explores themes of Christianity, conversion, and oppression, making full use of the ecclesiastical setting.

Director and Founder | Castor Gallery : Andy Wicks

Ramírez’s use of ecstatic, almost trance-like imagery, facilitates this transcendence, allowing the viewer to experience a sense of dislocation and reconnection with the self.

castor gallery presents a must see show with fabian ramirez new works, painting now
Castor Gallery and Artist Fabian Ramírez with 'Firing of the Idols' installation view at Trinity Church, Islington | Image Courtesy by the Gallery

In His Own Words: Fabian Ramírez Unveils the Inspirations Behind His Recent Works

The encaustic process involves several moments of firing-heating.

First when I put all the components together (beeswax, copal & pigments) in order to prepare the colors (constructive way), then after applying it on the surface when I burn it out (destructive way).

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Fabian Ramírez at Castor Gallery: Artist Fabian Ramírez with "Firing of the Idols" Instalaltion View -> Castor Gallery Trinity Church, Islington | Image Courtesy by the Gallery

However, all these moments of altering and transforming Matter in order to reveal the image, always have to find a stop, like freezing time.

So it is quite alchemical In a way. I’m really interested in the relationship between technique and magic, so that is why I always return to moments in human history when both concepts used to be part of the same development of knowledge, and specifically Mayan shamanism which represents to me one of the last resistance points from that way of thinking from the Mexican part.

fabian ramirez, mexican shooting start in contemporary art on view at castor gallery new location
Fabian Ramírez: Twice Born, 2024 -> Encaustic on fired wooden panel200 x 240 cm Castor Gallery London | Image Courtesy by the Gallery

So for me, it is always about finding out those moments where the past (and more precisely that past) is activated, manifested, actualized, or just brought back to present times in “modern terms”.

This has of course reached out to a personal level, so for me the idea of identifying the concept of firing as an ancestral way to communicate with the ancestors and bringing them back (as in Mayan shamanism), as well as using fire as a transformation process where symbols can be redefined, it's about connecting timelines for a moment.

“The Burning of the Idols” is a colonial codex painted by indigenous hands by order of the Spanish priest who documented the destruction of the prehispanic religion in their Christianizing enterprise.

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Fabian Ramírez: A Diestra y Siniestra -> Encaustic on fired wooden panel -> 240x400 cm (open) 240x200 (closed) | Image Courtesy by the Artist

So that is why the central piece reinterpreted that image in the context of the Christian altarpiece and in the context of an English church transformed into a gallery. The personal character of it remains the presence of that transformation of sense by my practice and myself.

The other scenes are about different moments where I have found this sense of ritual transformation in my daily intimate life, like the bath scene with a tarot reading.

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Castor Gallery : Fabian Ramírez Grazie Mille 1, 2024 Encaustic on fired wooden panel90 x 60 cm | Image Courtesy by the Gallery

The card of the emperor that I got, that for me of course has a different reading trough this colonial background history ( so that is why I incorporated the snakes since they bring a duality of symbols (sacred in prehispanic way and devil in Christianity).

In any case, these paintings show this continuous melting. Melting between two, melting in abstraction, melting in time.

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Fabian Ramirez: A Diestra y Siniestra (Half open) -> Encaustic on fired wooden panel 240x400 cm (open) 240x200 (closed) 2023 | Image courtesy by the artist

Purple is a color that can reflect the chance of temperature in the color since it goes from red to blue.

To talk about the idols also has another meaning. Idolize in Mexico represents the survival of a way of thinking and existing with the world in correspondence with a mythological perspective of the prehispanic world.

Nevertheless, the transformation of the idols even in myself (ego) or others, represents another way of living together with the past but also with the present.

Fabian Ramírez’s current exhibition at Castor Gallery not only highlights his growth and evolution as an artist but also reaffirms his role as a visionary in contemporary art.

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Fabian Ramírez: Castor Gallery Installation View ->Twice Born, 2024Encaustic on fired wooden panel200 x 240 cm | Image courtesy by the Artist and Gallery

By integrating the ancient with the modern and the visible with the invisible, Ramírez continues to push the boundaries of how art is experienced and understood.

castor gallery, exhibition view with work by artist fabian ramirez, titled firing of the idols
Castor Gallery -> Holy Trinity Church, Islington: with "Firing of the Idols" by Mexican artist Fabian Ramírez is the inaugural exhibition at this location | Image Courtesy by the Gallery

This exhibition is a standout experience for anyone interested in how art can alter perceptions and transcend boundaries.

Follow Fabian Ramírez on Instagram to delve deeper into the journey of this promising painter and explore his world. 

Fabian Ramírez: Firing of the Idols

10 April - 18 May 2024
Castor Gallery - Fabian Ramirez
Castor Gallery on Instagram

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