PEDRO FULLER was born in Managua, Nicaragua in 1961. His love for art manifested itself early on when, as a child, he loved to draw spending all his time drawing maps. At the age of 13 he met a painter who became his art teacher, mentor and friend. While pursuing his public school education, Pedro began his Fine Arts studies at the Escuela de Bellas Artes.
In 1979, as a result of political unrest Pedro's family moved from Nicaragua to the United States, establishing themselves in New Jersey, where Pedro finished High School. After graduating he was accepted at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where, in 1985, he received his degree in painting.
Speaking about his art, Fuller states, "Every piece I complete expresses something unique. I always give careful consideration to the way color and form work together. I frequently use tropical hues like cadmium red and yellow, olive green and turquoise. I paint mainly with oil and pastels. Some of the themes in my art are spirituality, music, politics, and happiness. Because I value music for its relaxing qualities, there is a visual rhythm in my work through which I try to reach this same calmer, more spiritual place. My own spirituality inspires my paintings of musicians, love and joy. As in any art, I am coming from what I know as well as moving towards the unknown. The creative act itself leads me to a new place where I am reborn on the canvas. I paint because I love to paint and enjoy the pleasure and serenity it gives to others."
|Camden Courier-Post - Sunday, August 1, 2004|
Pedro Fuller has become a highly regarded painter despite his full-time evening job as maintenance crew supervisor at Rutgers-Camden.
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TINA MARKOE KINSLOW Courier-Post
Artists Struggle to Maintain Creativity and Get By In Real World
Pedro Fuller cleaned restrooms at Garden State Park and swept the dirt off the floors of laboratories at Campbell Soup Co. before he joined the Rutgers-Camden maintenance crew. All the while he was pushing a broom or wielding a mop, Fuller was painting hundreds of canvases with the bold lines and intense colors that have caught the eye of collectors and gallery owners.
Fuller, like many South Jersey artists, has mastered more than painting or performing. He has perfected the art of survival.
"I worked at the race track for seven years, a rough job, so that I can reach my dream," says the Nicaraguan-born artist who lives in Camden. "Painting makes my heart happy."
Despite a full-time evening job as maintenance group leader at Rutgers-Camden, Fuller manages to work at his art during the day with a discipline that astonishes Nancy Maguire, the curator of exhibitions for Rutgers-Camden's Stedman Gallery.
How he does it, I don't know," notes Maguire. "Pedro's passion is painting. He is incredibly disciplined in his work. He paints and paints and never stops."
|Camden Courier-Post - Sunday, August 1, 2004|
is Man's Love, Campus is His Work
By day, Pedro Fuller paints surreal oil paintings and abstract pastel works on paper. At 5 p.m., the Camden artist puts down his paint brush and heads for Rutgers-Camden where he supervises the maintenance crew. For years, Fuller pushed a broom so that he could hold a brush and fill a canvas with vivid colors and intense images.
After graduating from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Nicaraguan-born artist worked as a custodian at the Garden State Park racetrack and Campbell Soup Co. before joining the maintenance staff at Rutgers-Camden.
"I try to put all my heart into my paintings," notes the artist, as he sits in the small living room of the house in Camden he shares with his wife, Carolina, and their two daughters. "Everything comes from my heart."
With incredible discipline, Fuller creates painting after painting in a cramped studio. As he surveys the crowded living room lined with framed paintings and canvases, a look of frustration comes over Fuller's face. He holds out his arms and crosses his wrists before wrapping an imaginary cord around his hands.
"It's hard!" he exclaims. "I need a studio. To realize my dreams and paint all the paintings in my heart, I must have a bigger studio."
Fuller's paintings are filled with the tropical colors that he says flow in his veins. Intense cadmium red, glowing yellow, deep olive green and ultramarine blue add brilliant intensity to paintings inspired by music, politics and spirituality.
Fuller, 43, left Nicaragua in his teens, escaping from his war-torn homeland to a new life in the U.S. He brought along his love for painting nurtured at the School of Fine Arts in Managua. After earning a diploma at Woodrow Wilson High School in 1981, he studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy for four years and earned a degree in painting.
While working as a janitor, Fuller caught the eye of critics and gallery owners with paintings that conveyed the horror of civil war in his homeland. Collectors from Europe and the U.S. have seen Fuller's works displayed in galleries and on the Internet. His paintings sell for $400 and more. One fetched a price of $11,000 last year.
Despite his growing reputation, Fuller remains loyal to Camden, the city that has been his home for 23 years.
Fuller manages to juggle his career painting and performing maintenance work at Rutgers-Camden while finding time for his family. He also finds time to pass on his painting skills to students and to encourage other artists. Six years ago, he founded Arte Alegre! (Happy Art), a group of Latino artists who meet and share their work. Fuller challenges his fellow artists to push themselves to a higher level.
Fuller's paintings bluntly address social issues like abortion. They also celebrate his Catholic faith and the power of music.
"I paint because I love to paint," explains the artist as he describes the joy he feels when he sees how his paintings affect other people.
recalls how a woman burst into tears in front of one of his paintings that
portrayed the anguish of women undergoing abortions. "As in any
art," he adds, "I am coming from what I know as well as moving
towards the unknown. Painting leads me to a new place where I am reborn on
Pedro Fuller knows that making it in the art world is not an easy task. That's why he hasn't given up his night job as a custodian at the Camden campus gymnasium.
He joined Rutgers a year ago, having previously worked for Campbell Soup Company in maintenance for many years, and now works the 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. shift.
He says the hours are ideal for a fine-art painter. "I paint quite a lot right now. I paint all day and I'm happy about this," he says.
Fuller started in art at the age of 13 in his native Nicaragua with pencils and pastels and eventually took up painting. He came to the United States in 1979, studied art at Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden and then attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, graduating in 1985.
Over the years, he estimates, he has painted some 600 paintings, specializing in intensely colored landscapes.
"My work," he says, "consists of symbolic images in which color, line, semiabstract and representational forms merge and project my impressions of today's realities." His art, he adds, "is intended to be universal in content and does not try to dictate to the viewer a specific political or social conclusion."
He has displayed his work in numerous venues including the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center in Camden and the Taller Puertorriqueno, a Hispanic cultural center in Philadelphia, and has paintings in the permanent collections of Rutgers' Stedman Art Gallery and Zimmerli Art Museum.
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