Hailing from Santa Cruz, California, Painted Ladder is a muralist and artist by trade. With a wide variety of mediums ranging from spray paint to digital, his works cover multiple styles with subjects that often merge many layers and worlds. Drawing inspiration from the intersection of nature and civilization, as well as the inner and outer world, he creates a personal symbolism and narrative used to create a road map of the universe.
Painted Ladder enjoys the unique experiences a life of art has brought, such as having works shown in the Oakland Art Murmur, Santa Cruz MAH, Wynwood Walls Miami, and Omiroo Gallery Oakland. Group shows include “Fusion” – The R. Blitzer Gallery, “Nocturnal Mockery” – Colorado Springs, and “Vote!” at the Pajaro Valley Arts Center. He has painted live at many festivals and graffiti events such as Northern Nights, Burning Man, How Weird Festival SF, and Kansas City Masterpiece. Artistic Residencies include teaching art at Jakmel Ekspresyon, Haiti, through Burners Without Borders, and a residency at Idea Fab Labs, Chico- learning and producing a show using Makers Space tools.
With murals and installations painted across the country as well as Mexico, Southeast Asia, and Europe, Painted Ladder enjoys the power of art to connect with others. When possible he strives to create projects that include and uplift the community, which he believes can give those involved a sense of ownership, interaction and connection to their environment.
I based my concept around a fortunate miscommunication. Describing what I would do for this theme to a friend, I mentioned I wanted to do a barren landscape and a woman growing from the charred desert like a rose. The friend said “Oh like a desert rose!” This reminded me of an amazing plant whose transformation I once got to witness- The Resurrection plant, or Rose of Jericho. This plant travels dry areas almost like a tumble weed, and upon finding water, will unfurl is petal-like leaves and within minutes green begins to emerge from it’s dusty hue. If the location is suitable it will take root. If the moisture is temporary, it will roll back into it’s traveling form and again take to the wind. It can do this many times on it’s journey seeking a thriving existence.
To me this is a great symbol of Resiliency. Last Summer I traveled from California to Southwest Colorado to visit family. Fires were at that moment burning my home town of Santa Cruz and I aimed to get a break from the smoke and chaos. It turned out Colorado was on fire too! I find fire to be both a serious present issue as well as a metaphor for the current struggles we face as a planet.
With the woman both being and blossoming from the rose of Jericho, amongst a burnt landscape, my design is meant to instill a sense of regrowth, as well as adaptation. I hope we can learn from and align with nature to face our challenges with humbleness and resiliency, for our present challenges and those to come!