Norberto has been with the Ripoff Artists since the Toulouse Lautrec challenge in 2015. He brings with him many experiences of the greater art world, as well as a passionate commitment to social justice. His interests and background show up in his approach to Ripoff Artists challenges every year. Norberto truly believes that art can be used as a tool for social change, and as a means for healing and inspiration. He uses his art to express deep sorrow about human suffering and create awareness about sad realities in the world. Born and educated in Mexico, Norberto studied Business Admin and Fine Arts, focusing on the great Mexican muralists: Diego Rivera, Orozco, Siqueiros, and the old classic European masters. He also studied modern artists, from Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Chagall, to Basquiat. Since his early years as an artist the main subject of his work has been human suffering. Galleries rejected his work because “it was good, but it is not commercial”, and he couldn’t make a living from his art. Working for a computing company, he emigrated to Calgary in 1981 and joined a local group of artists that held yearly shows around the city. His paintings became darker. Living in this wealthy country, he could not understand why so many suffer in the world while many Canadians have such a wasteful way of living. He retired to Cortes Island in 1997, where he founded and ran a small community art gallery, then moved to the Okanagan in 2010. He realizes now that the destructive attitude of humankind towards ourselves and everything else is not new, it is part of being human. We are a very young species, based on violence and greed. We have lots to learn and evolve.