About the Artist

 
Rick “Dienzo” Blanco is a Los Angeles area artist whose collection of dark little characters are meant to intrigue, entice and perhaps cause a bit of anxiety. While his experience in commercial art as an award-winning designer spans over 20 years, his love of fine art has existed since he was old enough to hold a pencil. His style is greatly influenced by his work for Disney, Mattel and Cartoon Network. In his current role, he serves as Vice President of Creative for Cartoon Network Enterprises and collaborates with internal partners / licensees to oversee the development of toys, apparel, video games and more based on the network’s original properties.


In creating his art, Dienzo sees the technical aspect as, “taking the world of cartoon like characters and rendering them in the traditional medium of acrylic on canvas. From a content perspective, it’s drawing from the influence of pop-culture elements and experiences as a kid like watching The Munsters and The Addams Family or visiting the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.

“I’ve always been inspired by the darker side of life,” says Dienzo. Here it’s the juxtaposition of “cute and cuddly” with something slightly subversive or sinister that makes these characters and vignettes accessible. “The timing is also right as more and more artists are bridging the gap between fine art and merchandise. They now understand the value of approaching their art as a brand and managing new opportunities from that point of view.” Dienzo has begun developing licensed product based on his art. “The real beauty of this genre is that the imagery can live on the shelves of specialty retailers like Hot Topic or Urban Outfitters as readily as on the walls of a gallery.”

Dienzo received his bachelor’s degree in graphic design and an Executive MBA from Loyola Marymount University. Having established a body of work and a client base with Cuban themed neo-expressionism under the name of “Rick Blanco,” the pseudonym “Dienzo” was chosen to differentiate his new paintings from the existing style. It is a hybrid of his sons’ names (Diego & Lorenzo) and is meant to preserve the wide-eyed naiveté of childhood while creating a legacy for his own sons. He resides with his wife and boys near Pasadena, California.

 

What you should know


Name:

Rick Blanco


DAY JOB:

V.P. Creative

Cartoon Network Enterprises


CURRENTLY INTO:

The Walking Dead

The Men Who Built America

Fast and Loud


Musical tasteS:

New Wave

Dark Wave

“Epic” Soundtracks


STUPID HUMAN TRICK:

Can make cricket chirp sounds


FAVORITE CHIP FLAVOR:

Sour cream and onion


Favorite quote:

“A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.”

- Willy Wonka