One student loves to paint and refers to himself as “the future Diego Rivera.” His name is Raul Ramirez and like Diego he focuses on doing self portraits. Here is a a few of Rivera’s portraits with a picture of him.
On page 21 of Bronx Masquerade Raul shares some insight into his art.
I want to show the beauty of our people, that we are not all banditos like they show on TV, munching cuchfritos and sipping beer through chipped teeth. I will paint los ninos scooping up laughter n the sunshine and splashing in the temporary pool of a fire hydrant I will paint my cousins, turning the sidewalk into a dance floor when salsa or la bamba spills from the third-floor window. I will paint Mami, standing at the ironing board late in the evening, after a day of piecework in the factory, sweat pouring off her, steam rising from a pot in the background, me tugging at her skirt while she irons. I will paint the way she used to smile down at me, the love in her eyes saying “I only do this for you.” Mami’s beauty is better than a movie star’s. It survives a kind of life where pamper is a noun, not a verb. I will capture that beauty on canvas, someday, when I am good enough.