We had the good fortune of connecting with Pablo “Raiz” Ruiz Arroyo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pablo “Raiz”, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
My roots are continually a defining part of my growth as an artist and also a person.I was born in La Paz, Bolivia and am a descendent of the aymara people of the Andes. As I have lived all over the world I am constantly reminded how unique my roots are compared to other customs. More than anything seeing how my mother had raised me with limited resources made me realize what it meant ti be an immigrant and all the sacrifices made to pursue a better future. I hold tight to that passion and risk it all when I engage my creative process.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a surrealist by heart, and a portrait painter who decided the streets need the beauty of life much more than the galleries. It hasn’t been easy, and I am grateful for the adversity, since those things that come easy are rarely as appreciated as those that come from a struggle. The greatest lesson I’ve learned in my process is that my art is not my own and to be forgiving with my perceived failures. I have a reputation for having the ability to finish large murals quickly and beautifully. I have been drawing and painting since I was a little kid and it has been my best friend who always consoled me in moments of trauma. A musician once said it took him his whole life to figure out how to play like himself. I hope to find that in my art and at the same time I am happy with the never ending quest of not finding that moment. My artistic name “Raiz” is a nod to my first last name Ruiz and also a reminder to myself that my roots are in the mountains. Arroyo, my maiden name translates to a stream from a mountain.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take them to the Mission to breath in the culture found there still. We would have a picnic at Dolores Park, bike to Hunters Point and wander through Ocean Beach. Afterward we would take the Bart to Downtown Oakland and enjoy the life budding there. We would eat ate Merritt and watch a sunset on the hills of Berkeley.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
More than anyone my mother pushed me to being the man I am proud to be today. She made time to read me stories as a child and took me to art lessons after a long day of work. She taught me to dance on her feet when she didn’t know what else to do with me and never gave up on loving me. She taught me that what I have learned can never be taken from me. In the art-world I would say Alex Bostic was a shining light in dark times and has proven to always have time for his community. Precita Eyes Murals Organization introduced me to the right caliber of artists and were key to making me adopt the Bay as my home base. Emerson and Janet Stafford have been loyal patrons and my family who have been a north star for many things in my life. Pancho Peskador has become a positive mentor and good friend, teaching me chilean slang and the deep world of street art where a can is your sword. Throughout my life people have shown me so much love that I feel eternally indebted to helping those who need a hand and I thank everyone who gave me a hand without even knowing my name.