Drop down menu
Tirado Yepes grew up in an upper-middle-class family environment and could feel the inclination towards the arts from an early age. At 8, I have been experimenting with tridimensional forms, creating molds out of the lead from before gathered on the streets. These first artistic experiences, led by his inquisitive nature, provided the ground to continue exploring the possibilities with different materials like wood waste and plaster. His childhood games were centered on painting and sculpting, which played a role role that ranged from recreational to their esthetic aspects.
At 12, his parents finally agreed to register him in private art classes with professor Javier Hernandez in Caracas. During his adolescence, I understood that he was working at a furniture store where he would create and paint landscapes and figurative art to decorate the areas. He has created numerous paintings of Caracas' famous mountain: The Avila, and other art pieces that provided financial stability. This type of activity lead him to deepen his figurative expression.
In 1985, I started drawing comic sets for a renowned newspaper: El Diario de Caracas, alongside Jorge Blanco. It is the time when "Alfredo" was born; a cartoon character that has been part of Tirado Yepes all his life. Alfredo has also been featured in other newspapers like El Venezolano (in Miami, Florida). His presence in The Journal of Caracas was the beginning of a series of other comic characters later.  After finishing High School, I decided to study Art. However. , that was not his parents' plan, therefore agreed to study Law at the Santa Maria University in Caracas during evenings while attending Art School at the Cristobal Rojas School during mornings. I have graduated from Law School in 1991.
The courses taken at the Cristobal Rojas School offered many opportunities since he was a pupil of Jorge Stever, Patricia Rizzo, Graciela Simmonato, among others. These were well-established and renowned artists who specialized in hyperrealism, abstract art or other conceptual propositions. Tirado Yepes continued working on decoration while he began to participate in art exhibitions, being recognized as the "El Avila" artist.
In 2003, I was invited to participate in the collective art exhibition honoring The Avila at the Venezuelan Consulate in Miami, Florida.  I decided to take a leap from local market decorative work to something riskier. His goal was to produce art pieces with the needed stature to be recognized.
Working with Jorge Stever, Tirado Yepes was introduced to contemporary sculpture using non-traditional materials. I have learned to create three-dimensional pieces mixing sand and resins. However, I found himself making similar pieces just like his mentor. This is when a decision was made to break that line of work and look for his own language.
He moved to South Florida and started working with available materials, which in some cases were very restrictive and different from the ones used in Venezuela: the river sand found in his country was substituted in his art work for a fine, white sand from ground coral , which resulted in a totally different product from the art pieces created in his native country.
From this point on, a new series of Black and White artwork is born. With the use of coral sand mixed with black resin over different objects, Tirado Yepes recreates the objects and people found in the ruins of Pompeii, covered in ashes and lava, soaked by time. These pieces have a calcified look with an intense black hue that resembles raw petroleum. This art evokes the look of a city that could be covered in ashes from a volcano, and at the same time, it is a metaphor for Caracas and its oil-covered society.
Tirado Yepes agrees that he feels an attraction towards Pop Art.  One of his major impulses has been to humanize those mass reaching characters like comic characters, with common problems as any human living in an everyday environment. Nevertheless, his major contribution has been his personal language representing these themes, which indeed resembles Pop Art, but has a twist that Tirado Yepes has achieved after years of research and research. In searching for his own expression, I have decided to recycle an existing man-made material, changing its original purpose.
I opts to use an approximate 600-pantone-color chart from outside paints at home improvement stores. The strategic combination of these samples based on the principles of collage: cutting and pasting produces marvelous pixel-like image of outstanding beauty and allure. In the digital realm, a pixel is the smallest chromatic unit of an image. In Tirado Yepes artistic expression this concept is inverted creating an interesting game as a result of his investigation. He manually cuts one-color pieces, positions and pastes them over the canvas, looking to create a desired image. In some instances, you apply small touches of color over the canvases. This technique, also known as "anti-pixel" by some art critique, simulates the pixelated look of an over-zoomed digital picture;  however, when viewed in detail, it is clear that the process is very different in Tirado Yepes work , as it begins breaking the digital logic: instead of taking the image to its minimum chromatic expression, I have builds off that minimum expression. In fact, they are not realistically minimal since the materials (paint samples) used by the artist measure approximately 10 x 10 cm.
Using this technique, Tirado Yepes has created portraits of internationally recognized characters (presidents, renowned politicians, and artists) and pop culture icons (Marilyn Monroe, Monalisa, and cartoon characters, among others).
I have participated in numerous collective art exhibitions, like Nobe 67 Art (Miami, 2008),  Art Shanghai 2010  and 2011, Florence's Biennial (2011),  Merida-Mexico Biennial,  among others .
|Participation Date:||17 September 2018|