Ricardo Ramos aka Xicogaivota at his atelier in Sintra

Ricardo Ramos aka Xicogaivota - Artist and Beach Plastic Collector

Hanging Out With Xicogaivota,

Portuguese Artist and Beach Plastic Collector.


Ricardo Ramos, aka Xicogaivota, is that kind of person with so many interesting stories to share that you could hang out with him for days and the stories would never be over. His passion for the sea, the rocks, and cliffs turned him into a professional "percebes" catcher and fisherman for many years. In 2016, a walk on the beach with his children to collect materials (trash), and use them to make Christmas presents for his family and friends, led Xicogaivota to what it is today. 

All the trash he collects at the beaches will never be trash again. Once Ricardo gets his hand on it, all those materials go to his atelier, where they soon will become works of art. Since Xicogaivota was born, Ricardo has been in many places, developing and taking part in social and ambiental projects, raising awareness about plastic pollution, and spreading his art.

Get to know him.

Can you tell us your story so far?

My story? ...my fathers are artists, I’ve learned to work with wood, iron, stone, fiberglass and other materials, but none of them challenge me in the same way this plastic fragments do.

I’ve done a lot of different things, and ended up as a professional "percebes" catcher and fisherman for many years. I’ve chosen this way of life because working in a closed space wasn't for me and I need to be close to the sea, rocks and cliffs.

For many years I saw and did a lot of bad things to the sea.

In 2016, during the Christmas time, I took my sons to our local beach to pick up objects (trash) to make Christmas presents for the family.

The walks to the beach became daily and my life changed and xicogaivota was born.

The transformation was so big that a shy guy that loves to be alone on a remote beach and didn't want any kind of fuzz around, started to share his life and art with thousands of children and adults around the world.

I’ve been in Moçambique, Cabo Verde e São Tomé spreading my knowledge, art and cleaning beaches.

This is my story!

Next steps for you?

I don't have any plans for the future.

I want to continue to do exactly what I’m doing now, i'm truly happy... I do what I love and my office is different and stunning everyday!

Best spot in Portugal?

Costa Vicentina... no more details.

What does style mean to you?

Honestly?... A lot of times in the morning when my wife sees me she says: Really! You're going outside looking like this?

I care about comfort and durability, I never know what i’ll do during my day... I could easily end up crawling in the rocks trying to catch a piece, or in a business meeting! I'll probably be using a new t-shirt at the cliffs and show up at the meeting with some shorts and a t-shirt with some holes! No hurry!

What motivated you to get started with xicogaivota?

I will rephrase it! 

What motivated you to continue with xicogaivota?

The concept that I created makes every piece a new challenge and puzzle. All materials used are caught by me at some remote beach.  The fragments are used as they were found, without breaking them, without using glue or paint. They are fixed with screws and ropes. 

What's the Band / Music Style / Music Artist that inspires you?

It really depends... I'm always listening to music at the studio, now it's playing a mix of Jacob Banks and Benjamin Clementine. But it could be Radiohead, Kruder&Dorfmeister or René Aubry... 

Any guilty pleasures worth mentioning?


Photography by João Hasselberg.


Ricardo was wearing

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