Forever Young

RAD in Kindergarten




RAD's art changed profoundly when he began to teach art to young children. He saw the world through their eyes, and that empathy developed into concern for their future, free from racism, sexism, homophobia, war, in hopefully an ecologically sound world. He started using child-related imagery in his art as a way to speak to these issues. His work explores the challenges inherent in hoping for a better future.


Originally from Los Angeles, RAD is an artist and educator based in Harlem, New York. He majored in Fine Arts and a minor in Art Education from The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. He has been in several solo and group exhibitions in New York City and abroad. He received a grant from the NYC Citty ARtist Coporation. His most recent artist residency was at Watershed Studios in Galway, Ireland. 





My parents left Cuba to escape a totalitarian government. I was naïve to think that it would never happen in the United States. January 6, 2021 woke me up to a new reality. The end of democracy in the face of rising fascism is a serious concern. I’m deeply concerned for the future of my young students and the world they will inherit.


My paintings delve into a narrative where classic toy characters fight to save their town of toy land against a toy green army, who conspire to control them in a coup, seemingly playful and idealistic. The art reveals a darker reality under the surface.


In this "what if" narrative, the toy green army sides with the insurectionists, attacking the town in a series of battles, each one gaining closer to their goal of securing city hall. The rest of the toys in Toyland, who normally keep to themselves in their own neighborhoods, for example, dolls, action figures, building toys, board games and stuffies live isolated from each other, must decide to band together and fight their common enemy. Paintings and drawings feature battle scenes in moments of solidarity, success and desperation. 




Having immigrated from Cuba, RAD's mother would watch daytime soap operas to learn English. The characters, plots and world building had an impression on RAD at an early age. He eventually developed the idea of fictitious town of Raddington Falls where his cast of LEGO minifigures would live and carry out an ever changing narrative. The town seems ideal on the outside, yet there is more under the surface. It is a story yet to be told.