Ricardo Azziz was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1958, of Syrian-Lebanese and French ancestry. His early years were spent in nomadic excursions from Uruguay to Puerto Rico to Costa Rica to the United States. In 1968 his family returned to Uruguay, departing again in 1971 under the threat of the impending 'coup d'etat'. Returning to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, he completed his high school and college education, with subsequent additional degrees and training obtained at Penn State University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has served on the faculties of the John Hopkins University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the University of California, Los Angeles and Augusta University, Augusta, Georgia; he is currently on faculty at the University of Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY.
The son of an anthropologist and a nuclear physicist, both with strong artistic interests, Dr. Azziz has been exposed to multiple contrasts throughout his life. Keenly interested in the surrealist perspective, where life events form part of a real-dream world continuum, in combination with his healthcare experience, Azziz has been creating pen and ink works since the early '70s. While early works were mostly somber black and white, he has more recently experimented with the use of splashes of color, collage, and mixed media to provide contrast. Facial features are generally not depicted in an attempt to express the various emotions through representations of other anatomical parts. In keeping with the original surrealist period in the Western world works with collage have used primarily 'turn-of-the century' material.
It is hoped that these pieces serve to represent and illustrate the absurdity of the conflictiveness and contrasts of our world.