Rene’ Cardona was a wrestling jock in parochial high school wrangling with a vendetta in his back pocket. Then he took an art class elective; embarked on his winding path as a painter and onward to spiritual salvation.
At Fullerton College, he enrolled for courses in art history, art history and more art history. Disdainful of the cheesy yoga positions sometimes employed by male mannequins, Cardona (who at the time had the physique of Michelangelo’s David) became a model for the department’s sculpting classes. He remembers the grueling hours of posing and having to prop blocks under his feet. From this, he was able to glean a different perspective into the inner workings of his craft.
Being active…a participating agent…opening up the mind.
During the days of The Hub, Cardona was a prominent figure as a profound poet; prolific painter and sculptor. Unfortunately, many of the paintings and sculptures that he put up on display mysteriously disappeared. Drawing the ire of one that we won’t mention by name, Cardona goes on to speculate that a good number of his pieces were maliciously destroyed. A few have miraculously emerged as of late.
Living and working out of an empty warehouse (which is now part of the Magoski Arts Colony), Cardona shared the space with two other artists. Together, they would pore through books on the master painters much like some would with pornographic material. In between drags of American Spirit, they would fixate on an image and gasp, “God! Right?”
At some point, an acquaintance decided that he would join the small artist commune. This situation eventually created an atmosphere of tension and animosity. Feeling completely overwhelmed and spinning out of control, Cardona fled to San Francisco.
Barely surviving a year in the Golden Gate City — compromising his health and sanity — Cardona came to the realization that it was time to head home to La Mirada. He then began doing performance art paintings; accepting commission projects and participating at the Santa Ana Art Walk.
After more than fifteen years, Rene’ Cardona, returns to his former artist enclave, now the labyrinthian Violethour Studio/Art Gallery of Michael and Candace Magoski. This time around, his residency is in the way of a solo painting exhibit. Aptly titled “Through the Years”, it loosely chronicles Cardona’s spiritual and liberating foray into the art world. More of a homecoming of sorts, Fullerton welcomes him back with outstretched arms.
All images copyright: Fullerton Foundry
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