Ricardo Breceda | Man of Metal

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Breceda’s quest to bring joy to California’s landscape is remarkable.

Father and artist Ricardo Breceda was born in Durango, Mexico where his love of art and culture would be fostered and inevitably guide him into a career as an artist and designer. Growing up with a mother and father that encouraged him to work hard and find his passion, he and his eight siblings never lacked for anything. Inspired by their work ethic and ability to provide for him and his brothers and sisters, it taught Breceda that you can do anything as long as you’re willing to work hard for it.

As a child, Breceda was surrounded by the rich cultural landscape of Mexico. From art and artifacts to the stories unveiled in the multi-faceted cuisine of the country, it was there that he found a deep love of utilizing his surroundings.

Mexico is very vibrant when it comes to its culture. There are a lot of beautiful things about it that you can see, taste, and experience. I’ve always been inspired by it.”

With a population of nearly 700,000 people, Durango is a Mexican state known for his breathtaking natural elements such as waterfalls, carved wooden interiors, and is also the home state of the historic rebel leader, Poncho Villa. It’s also ample in agriculture and wood making and is among Mexico’s most prosperous economies.

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As Breceda got older, his first career would be as a cowboy boots salesman. But it was after having his daughters Lianna and Arabi that his inner artist was awakened. When his then six-year-old daughter Lianna asked him to make her a dinosaur, his life would forever be changed. That request became the catalyst to beginning his life as a full-time metal sculptor. That was that. He traded a pair of boots for a welding machine, and the rest is history. “The first piece I made was 20-feet tall and 45-feet long. I made it for my daughter who at the time was fascinated by dinosaurs. This brought her so much joy and it brough joy to others who got a glimpse of it. That inspired me to do more.”

Chances are if you’ve driven across Southern California, you’ve spotted a sculpture or three along Highway 79 in Aguanda or in the Garden of Sculptures located in Temecula. Breceda is a skilled metal worker, but his eye for design, movement, character, and life-like creations are what makes his work so unique. A self-trained artist, he did have the benefit of learning to weld from a friend, however in true alignment with his upbringing, from there he just kept doing it until it became second nature. He believes practice and hard work is why the finished pieces get better and better.

When asked about his fondness of animals—real, prehistoric and mythical alike—and how they ended up being the theme of his work, he adds, “I love nature and the outdoors. It helps my imagination wander and inspires me to create such pieces that reflect my interpretation of what I see.”

He works with 26-gauge metal and round rod to create internal frames, and sometimes incorporates stones and scraps into his creations as well. When fusing metal together through welding and time, he finds peace in the process.

I get into my own world and get to create anything I like. Some of it’s hard work but it’s very stress relieving. Plus, it puts a smile on people’s faces. That’s very rewarding.”

His work has opened the door to a big of magic in Southern California, lending to the landscape a rather poignant view of life and what is just beyond our line of sight.

To schedule a viewing, visit him online at ricardobreceda.com, stop by to see him and the new sculpture park he’s building in Anguanga, and should you want to commission him to create something exceptional and rare for you, all you have to do is send him a drawing and he will bring it to life.

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RAPID FIRE Q & A

What have been your greatest challenges as an artist?

Patience. Not being satisfied with my work. I always want or know I can do better.

Do you have moments where it’s time to pause, or do you just keep moving on a project?

Depending on what I’m working on. Sometimes it is necessary to take a break to either recharge or evaluate if I’m moving in the right direction with the work I’m doing.

What are some of the things you and your love doing when you’re not creating (and when there’s not a pandemic!)?

I love to enjoy my family and friends.

If you could be in a room with any artist(s), who would you choose and why?

Sergio Bustamante. I’ve always been fascinated with his work. He’s a very prolific man and very creative. I would love to ask him many questions on how he begins creating and what brings him to imagine such amazing pieces.

What projects are you working on now?

I’m focused on creating a park in my city Aguanga so everyone can come enjoy the diversity of my art.

What is your dream place to see your work prominently displayed?

I want to create something bigger than my work in Borrego Springs in another country or in another state.

There is an optimism in your pieces. Is that what you hope people remember?

Yes, I want people to remember the artist that put life and soul into his metal creations. And ultimately, I hope that people can find joy in my work.

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