Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wire Sculptures Reflect 'Life Lessons'; Bohemian Artist Stops Wandering

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wire Sculptures Reflect 'Life Lessons'; Bohemian Artist Stops Wandering

Article excerpt

Byline: TANYA PEREZ-BRENNAN, The Times-Union

Ronald Reyes was sitting along a posh strip in Boston, making metal flowers, when he decided to ask a cop for permission to continue.

"Son," the cop said, "If you make something, then that's your creation."

Reyes was impressed. New York cops were cool, he thought, but Boston cops were way cooler.

Reyes, who grew up in Jacksonville, traveled up and down the East Coast last year.

"I was a long-haired hippie constantly leaving town," he said. "I was this road artist that would experience life as it comes."

Today, the 23-year-old still looks like he wears the Bohemian life like a protective blanket. The Filipino artist wears the same copper earring in his left ear, a tribal-looking spiral he never takes off.

But Reyes has come a long way from those wandering days. A sculptor who specializes in making wire figures and light fixtures, Reyes is having his first solo show at Springfield's 9th & Main gallery. The show, "Transfiguration: A Pause in Hyper-Tridium," opens today and runs through the end of April.

Reyes said the theme of the show, the idea of transfiguration, has a lot to do with his own personal transformation and artistic maturation.

"It's showing that my work is my life, and whatever I experience is in the work," he said. "It helps me with life lessons."

The show will feature 14 wire figures and installations, along with a number of smaller pieces. Reyes said the show will include lighted sheets of fabric and a live performance.

A spiritual aspect also runs through the work.

"It's a figure that's kind of transforming and going through different stages," he explained. "Each figure is a stage, but they're connected, and it kind of turns around."

In his Riverside studio, Reyes works on a large table where he keeps everything from frames to copper reams and wire cutters.

"Everything comes in circles," he said, gesturing toward one of his older pieces, The Degradation of Bliss, his statement on the terrorist attacks Sept. …

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