The communication of mood and feeling through the medium of color is of primary intention in my work.
References to landscape, movement, the figure, and cultural context form the underlying messagesâ€”though veiled...and irrevocably transformed.
Born on the tropical island of Puerto Rico, my earliest memories were emotional, visual, and tactile. Surrounded by and engulfed in tropical light, color took on an identity that was indelible. For me, feelings had color. Music and words had color. Embraces had color. Food and its tastes had color.
I moved to New York at the age of six, where I arrived from Puerto Rico during a blizzardâ€”a painful experience. Raised in Little Italy listening to Mario Lanza from loudspeakers on the corner, I was a child prodigy on the violin. I taught junior high and high school, provided guidance counseling, worked for the Board of Education, and helped found and taught classes at El Museo del Barrio. My desire to strengthen children later inspired me to train as a psychotherapist and begin an exploration of interior landscapes. I painted throughout these years and bring this rich lifetime of experience to my works, which are intense, abstract, and intuitive and which call up visceral reactionsâ€”spiritual, sensual, elated, angry, or pained.
Classically trained in fine art at the New York City High School for Music and Art and NYU, I am, at heart, an emotion-eliciting colorist, evoking a catharsis through color and landscapes of emotion and feeling. Large acrylic panels, some in horizontal diptych or triptych format, are earthy, rude, elegiac, strident, lovely, quiet, religious, and climactic by turn, and capture moments where the visual is inseparably physical and emotional.
I live in color, express through color, and speak, control, resolve, and am magically at home in color.
Vosotros Muertos Con Vida (Get a Life!) 1965 Oil on Canvas Collection of the artist.
Quietud (Stillness) 1997 Acrylic on Canvas
Amor Escondido (Hidden Love) 1997 Acrylic on Canvas
Jardín De Sueños (Garden of Dreams) 1998 Acrylic on Canvas This painting is currently on loan.
Tranquilidad (Tranquility) 2003 Acrylic on Canvas
El Tormento (The Torment) 2003 Acrylic on Canvas Collection of the artist.
Sueños Verde (Green Dreams) 2003 Acrylic on Canvas Collection of C. Brautigan.
Green Dreams was used in the set of the short-lived television series "The Unusuals" in 2009.
Infracción (Infringement) 2003 Acrylic on Canvas
Aguas Hirviendo (Boiling Water) 2004 Acrylic on Canvas
La Plena (The Dance) 2005 Acrylic on Canvas Triptych.
Espíritus (Spirits) 2005 Acrylic on Canvas Diptych.
Collection of P. Ryan.
Olokun 2005 Acrylic on Canvas Olokun is an African god associated with water. Olokun is part of a series of three with Edén and Coaybay (visible on my personal website, tomvega.com). Each of the paintings represents the thr
Memorias en Blanco (Memories in White) 2006 Acrylic on Canvas
Rabia en Velo (Veiled Rage) 2006 Acrylic on Canvas Collection of Dr. Damova.
The Narrows 2006 Acrylic on Canvas The Narrows is part of a series of paintings inspired by bridges leading to Brooklyn, New York that includes Puentes, Dodger Way, and Ebbets Bridge, both visible on my personal website, tomvega.com.
Nosotros Los Encontramos (We Found Each Other) 2006 Acrylic on Canvas Triptych.
Collection of the artist.
Three Graces 2007 Acrylic on Canvas Triptych.
Estar Sín Blanca (To Be Without (Broke)) 2007 Acrylic on Canvas Diptych.
Collection of D. Oppenheimer.