21 Under 31 | Julio Reyes

By Bonnie Gangelhoff

ART EDUCATION: Bachelor of fine arts from Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA.
STYLE: Contemporary realism.
MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT THE WAY YOU WORK: The way my ideas are conceived. I like to describe it as a welling up out of life. I have a lexicon of memories, and usually my themes are personal and autobiographical. Suddenly something will strike me—wires, cityscape, spindly tree leaves—and the process begins there.
SECOND-CHOICE CAREER: I have known since childhood that I wanted to be an artist and never really thought about an alternative.
BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: From a professor, who said, “You are going to be infatuated with life or you will have ideas that will devalue life.” I chose to dedicate my life and art to the beauty of existence.
CREATIVE SPARK: When I quiet down and perceive the hidden life behind things—the texture of a personality, the way a branch hangs, or how [my wife] Candice’s jacket looks in EMPIRE.
PRICE RANGE: $800 to $15,000.
GALLERIES: www.julio-reyes.com.

Featured in our annual “21 Under 31″ issue in September 2009