It was the terracotta-colored volcanic shore of Tenerife which first sparked his imagination. Then the blue waters surrounding Puerto Rico fueled his creativity. From the Canary Islands in Spain to the West Indies, Jonay di Ragno was bound to start a life journey of art.

A mind influenced by Mediterranean spice and Caribbean sugar, he merges both worlds into a paradigm of calculation or chance. “Sacred or profane, I choose no sides,” he says, “between science and religion, there’s a never-ending flirt line in the horizon.”

Internationally acclaimed di Ragno expresses everyday life’s subtleties through the act of painting. Expanding from the abstract expressionism movement, his works speak of human experiences such as pleasure, tension, and gratitude. He employs textures and expressional moves to create dynamic, hard and soft actions under the umbrella of the sublime alchemy method.

“Painting the performance,” he explains.

The energy of every brushstroke and his unique approach of color implementation cannot be denied. Buildup, scratches, punctures, gems, clay, rocks and crystals – just to name a few of his visual vocabulary of surface treatments.

Scrapping away marks. The results? Powerful pieces that whisper brutally beautiful offense in the ears of established parameters of the Modern ART landscapes. The viewer gets trapped in and seduced by a symphony of gestures and pragmatic tones. Scandalous, one might say. “If a painting does not resemble the fascination emanating from of a star, a sun, or a moon – if it does not represent the same force and energy, then my work is doing nothing”, di Ragno believes.

He provokes the accident to occur, welcomes the uninvited, and then captures it. He proceeds to distill, purify, and transform each piece into an “Ora et Labora” state. His works ask the viewer to experience this emotional connection.

“It is pointless to argue that Rembrandt and Van Gogh worked in a similar way. I don’t make Art. ART makes me”, he summarizes.

Instagram: Jonay di Ragno


Di Ragno received art schooling at the Escuela de Artes Plasticas in San Juan, PR (2000-2004).  He enjoys learning about art history.  His work is influenced by that of jaume Plensa, Kline, De Kooning, Pollock, Vicente, Picasso, Rothko and CY Tombly but mostly painting with his own brush.

Hypostasis is the feeling that something as dead as paint might also be deeply alive full of thought and expression. Tentative or explosive motions of one liquid through another are irresistibly methaphors for mental stress. In alchemy, the Latin word labor” is used to describe the procedures, methods and techniques-the daily struggle with materials. Also in Latin, ora” means prayer, and the alchemists never tired of pointing out that labor and ora  spell laboratory. As in the artist’s studio , so in the alchemist laboratory, meditating” and inwardy picturing”, labor effortlessly becomes ora.  The same kind of dynamics, swirling, unstable mixture of fluids are present in di Ragno body of works.

The artistic discourse of Jonay Di Ragno is intimacy and suggestive. His artistic pallet concentrates and re-defines expanding nuances. He constructs structural harmonies. His aesthetic reflection is a free chromatic reference to human conscience. He has compositional simplicity and direct allusion to the original purity of the human spirit.

His paintings are a luminescent expression, an assertive, creative solution that manifiest the expansive and penetrating capacity of light on a background of vibrant and eye candy crisp textures.The purpose of the artist is to provoke pigments to slither on the surface, oscilliating between darkeness and gradual evanescence, generating a dance of harmonious tonalities, candy code and sour of everyday life.

It is the Carribean and Meditteranean sun that modulates such romance and mistery. That romantic fusion generates reality in wich the pigments are transformed into seminal impulses, whereby new figures emerge dampened by creative artistic halo, publishing the old aesthetic traditions towards new frontiers. The perpetual growth of the spirial and the freshness of the labyrinth is a mystic ererence in Di Ragno’s work. Nothing represents better human existance than the labyrinth. Connected since its genesis to Occidental Mythology, its complexity lucidly evokes the basis for human consience. Trascending, awake.

It is true that the evolution of life obeys certain logic. But it also responds to certain mystery. Or maybe I should say that it is connected to new and renovating learning that tends to blur, with repeating occurences, the trans-mulation of one form of life into other forms of life. There is a sense of earthy reality. The totality of your state of mind can be experienced without distractions, you are no longer excited or depressed by particular states of mind. None-theless, existence continues to be connected to causes that can never be totally deciphered.

Di ragno’s neverending endeveour constructive forms bring evocatios and remembrance that are deeply related to the immensity of our being. His work suggests or makes allusions to waters & stones ,doors, paths, skies, windows, bodies of water, light marks” and maps of possible journeys. He is constantly negotiating with water and stone (pigments). Those are the unpromising ingredients of two very different endeveours.

Those elements provoke an emotional state in wich we perceive ourselves with pockets full of keys and eyes filled with doors. Like he well quots in an interview 2006: life is an humanistic endeveour:………….I can give you the key of the garden and we will play and amuse our selves with joys of life……..but the key of the holly door….. of the house I do not posses………..that key is something you have to build and earn…………..Who ever posses the key opens the door of accomplish beauty of inmortality. I do not look” I found said Picasso.

It is a journey that pulls our eyes and mind into the depth of the occult. He chooses no side between the sacrade and the profane. It is a game of forms that, without liberating us from doubts,gives us a string of hope. Art should bring spiritual energy into our lives and homes is di Ragno constantly statement.

Sketches of paths, micros scope zooms, fantastic collusions and explosions, sexual tantric and aggressive embraces, life projects, structures waiting to be inhabited…..we make the choice. We let our eyes travel the paths and we encounter the crossroads that multiplyall the possible ways from where we can decipher a response.Under each color there is a vibration of another hue value, there is no one color that exists by itself because each color derives from a previous tonality and generates the projection of another color gradation. Sometimes shadows dominate the planes, but the thin layers of pigment allow light to shine trough, like life it-self like veils of chapthers of life and sotries ,for all colors rest on the fountain…… light.

William blake said it well: “The eye does not see, but ones sees thru the eye”. That is why the union of two colors is not a result in itself, but the perplexity of a burst of light rays coloring the viewer’s conscience. Di ragno’s abstract expressionism is true to the foundations and traditions of good sublime and well crafted artistic painting. The artist in this case, proposes the paths that inhabit human conscience. Once organic character is achived in the work of art, that work is forever. Like sun, moon and stars (Frank Lloyd Wright).


Quantities of understanding the world, spiritual luminosity, symbiotic relationship is the climax of Di Ragno’s art voyage. That emanated from these grounds.

Artist:  Alejandro Velez

When I met Jonay many years ago he was a student mastering—but beginning to break free of—figurative art. Then I watched as he distilled the muted colors of nature along the lakes and paths in the southern forests: his canvases tactile creations, images that declared their independence from visual references; images that reflected the light, textures, and colors he perceived; images that looked outward but pierced inward.

If there is one word that describes Jonay and his work for me it is multifarious; but as soon as I pronounce it, that word feels wrong. Jonay—the artist—is both elusive and diverse – he changes names as gracefully as a shapeshifter.  Multifarious is not the right word.  Jonay has been steadfast in his dedication to communicating his heart through his art. I feel privileged to have been allowed to witness it.

Ronald C. Flores
Editor, ¡Qué Pasa! Magazine
Author, Seven Sins, Seven Stories: Fiction from Puerto Rico