Evelyn Reyes American, b. 1957

Evelyn Reyes is a contemporary artist who was born in the United States of America in 1957. Reyes' artistic process which has echoes of Outsider Art, involves repeating abstract shapes in oil pastel on paper in order to create a series of minimal but powerful drawings. Working on one specific shape at a time, her abstract depictions include carrots, fences, cakes, garbage cans and rubber bands. The artist will begin with a specifically sized piece of paper. Next she will choose a particular shade of oil pastel, outline the forms and then fill them with a thick impasto. She will then carefully study the finished piece, taking it to important points in her studio.


This ritualistic reverence and conviction apparent in her extensive series of works is definitive not only of her creative practice but also her way of being. These gestural drawings possess a feeling of tremendous conviction as the images are smeared, rubbed and burnished onto the paper, until they appear to be printed rather than drawn. The motifs become hieroglyphic through the artist's viscerally intense mark-making and sensuous use of colour. In her work, Reyes seems to be telling us something of which she is utterly certain, repeating many of her subjects time and time again, as if to underscore the necessity of their being. Reyes' manner of working through repetition with slight shifts in composition and style, recalls the methods of other artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Richard Serra.

From 2002 to 2017 Reyes worked in the Creativity Explored studio in San Francisco. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is included in the permanent collections of Le MADmusée, Liège in Belgium and in the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive in California. CB2 chose Reyes' carrots as the basis for two pillow designs and in 2013 Comme des Garçons selected Reyes' work for three t-shirts. In 2015 Reyes' pastels were selected as winning artworks in the Big-i Art Project's fifth open call.