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Ricardo de Sousa Costa

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My name is Ricardo de Sousa Costa, I was born in Cape Town South Africa and raised in Johannesburg. Immigrated to America (Gary, Indiana) when I was 10 years old, and I currently reside in Kalamazoo, MI.

I am a sculpture Major here at Western Michigan University, in my final year, looking to graduate in December of 2011.

My greatest passions in life, are people, volunteering, and art.

I have volunteered in Thailand, South Africa, India, Ecuador, Mexico, as well as here in the States. The way I see volunteering, isn’t that I am helping people, but rather I am completely humbled by the experience; I haven’t changed the world, but the world has surely changed me.

My art background has been rather brief. After volunteering in Thailand for two years for Tsunami restoration 2005 as well as a few other jobs, I returned to America; and I found my journal had more drawings that notes, and I wanted to come back to the concrete walls in Thailand I had lived between and paint them to inspire hope. So…I started to go to school for art. (very romantic, no?)t

Outside of school I have created an organization called Hardcore Hiccups, a non -profit in which I create bags, shoes, shirts, and more in efforts to raise money for orphanages in Thailand, South Africa, and Haiti. The funds I have raised have provided clean water filtering services in Cap Hatien Haiti, dental supplies in Honduras, vaccinations and shoes in Doi Intanon, Thailand, and food in for orphans in Soweto South Africa. This is a project outside of school that I tend to regularly.

I met Joel Fisher a year and a half ago, since then we have become the best of friends. His passion for metal and sculptor have changed the way I work, and has influenced me to finish school with a sculpture major.

In the future I would like to go to grad school, but you can make a 100 plans in life and life never goes as planned. So for now I am enthralled to adventure in art, and to take endeavors to places like the Kimball Center in Park City, Utah.

Thank you,
Ricardo de Sousa Costa

Date: Wed, 12/22/2010
Medium: Concrete
Dimensions: 6′ by 3′ by 2′
Concrete blanket and pillow. A gorilla piece, installed around the corner of one of the most visited food shelters for the homeless in Kalamazoo, MI. It had the life span, of only 12 hours before city maintenance trucked it away. As I have grown up, my reaction to poverty has changed. There is so much injustice in the world, much of it ignored for a plethora of reasons, yet it is our response in the face of that injustice that speaks volumes of our beliefs.

Date: Thu, 10/28/2010
Medium: Mixed Media and found object
Dimensions: 12′ by 7′ by 4′
A kinetic piece. Maps, define many things, more than just roads, and buildings, mountains, and seas. They define boundaries. Boundaries, while in some ways are invisible, in other ways can be seen blatantly before us. Kalamazoo, like many other cities in the US and abroad, are divided not only by lines on a map, but also by the color of ones skin, or the class one holds in a society. Though we have made strides for equality, a set of rail road tracks can divide the poor from the wealthy, the white from the black, the well off and the forgotten. Much of the discussion on this matter has led to nothing more than the clattering of teeth and the banging of heads. though some say we are all made of the same clay, we chip away at each other till we see what we want to see, the invisible lines that divide.

Date: Wed, 11/23/2011

Medium: Wood and Rope
Dimensions: 15′ by 12′ by 10′
Being raised in South Africa during the last year of Apartheid truly affected me. I was raised to fear so many things and so many people. As an adult, I have questioned the past, the present, and what will come in the future. In South Africa, we are trying to piece back together our humanity, and learn how to forgive. We are a self proclaimed “rainbow nation” yet I do not believe we are there yet. The efforts of a New South Africa are complex, and it is hard to say whether we will pull together or apart.

Tue, 01/04/2011
40′ by 8′
This piece was for my community in Venice Florida. I completed this piece in 4 days.


Date: Mon, 03/28/2011
Medium: Mixed media
Dimensions: 8′ by 3′ by 3′
A multi installation, audio, kinetic, self lit (inside) and multi level piece. For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with the idea of home. Never really having a solid place to call home, I have declared my self the home. A structure, that I care for, that I live in. With many rooms, filled with things, places people, memories, struggles and triumphs. My life is uprooted, and as i venture forth into life, I search for a place to rest. For me this sculpture was an attempt to illustrate that idea. * as a side note, I would like to mention this was a collaborative piece. I approached Joel Fisher (an alumni of your establishment) and asked if he would join me in creating this; his talents, his demeanor, and his creativity were essential in the success of this collaborative piece.

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