Because of his background in Architecture, his work has a lot of textures and layering which hint at the domesticity of a particular built environment. This environment combined with symbols, forms, and colors superimposed and buried into a surface portray time, build a vernacular aesthetic and respond to the human condition.
Once 5' work reflects on the paradoxical nature of his life experiences as a first generation Dominican-American. As a naturalized citizen he lacked the genuine Americanness of being “natural born.” The more he understood these issues, the more he realized that neither of the cultures with which he identified wholly accepted him. In the Dominican Republic, he is considered strictly American; a foreigner who lacks Caribbean sabor. In the United States, He is seen as a person with ambiguous racial origin making the natives conclude that he is not “one of them.” Because neither culture readily accepts him, his paintings are worlds where he fits in.
"My art serves as a bridge between these contrasting worlds. The protagonists in my paintings come from places where hope and desperation live side-by-side. I see it as my job to lift the veil of distortion surrounding my community to reveal a place and a people who are ripe with potential. Often times, I am my own protagonist"
You can view more work by Once 5 here: www.Once5.comOnce 5 was also voted Art Nouveau Magazine’s artist of the week! Check it out here.