Artist interview: Rafa Macarron – StreetArtNews
Spanish artist Rafa Macarron is a young, self-taught artist. His work leaves a touch of dreamlike influences and childish reminiscences. Despite the drama and deformity of its characters, the scenes portray tenderness, kindness and harmony.
I recently met the talented Rafa Macarron and talked about his artistic influences, inspirations and plans for 2022.
Rom Levy: To start, can you tell me a bit about yourself and your background?
Rafa Macarron: Since I was young, I have a pencil in my hands. When I was 4 years old, I traveled with my parents to Paris on the occasion of the inauguration of the Picasso Museum. As I entered one of the rooms, I asked for a notebook and colored pencils. I spent the whole morning trying to figure out what was in front of me. At the age of seven, I was making drawings full of colors, animals or characters from an unknown world. When I was due to enter college, it was the Spanish painter Juan Barjola who encouraged me not to apply to the Academy of Fine Arts.
My studies like a physiotherapist have aid me a parcel To know the Human anatomy. I know the perfectly the structure of the body. Afterwards, I started to try distortions and saw that they worked very well. It’s a bit like creating your own bodily characters, each with their own soul.
Cycling also gave me, not only the desire to go beyond, but also loneliness, freedom, and also many landscapes, which have influenced my painting so much. When I used to ride a bicycle, I entered the same state of fluidity that I achieve when I paint. I could paint for eight or ten hours non-stop without realizing the passage of time.
Who and what inspires your work?
A little sunrise, the time I spend with my children, a walk with the dogs… To look at the small details, ordinary and everyday. It is very important for me and for my practice, to feel, to perceive and to continue to paint in order to learn how to create new works. it’s the little things that inspire me.
Who are the characters in your paintings?
The characters to come outside of my daily life and I take them out of context. These could be people living with us. When I create them, I always like to imagine where they come from, what they do, where they go, what life they have …
This is clear To me this I want to To speak In regards to life to the Street, the everyday life, and my own existence. And I want to talk about these things with humor, whiter than black, more compassionate than cruel.
I too As this the characters report To the viewer, and I to play with the formats and Balance. I go of a large portrait, where the contact with the character is direct, with panoramas in which dozens of characters seem to play in several scenes simultaneously.
Aalthough your matter commits in Daily Human Activities and To Human resemblance, they have a more caricature quality. What are you aiming to deliver through this, and are your subjects separate entities from ordinary people?
My characters not go towards the caricature. I to flee a way of all kinds of caricature ornamentation. They were born from a fantastic, surrealist and expressionist figuration. I consider them to be hybrid characters closely linked to my admiration for Dubuffet, Bonifacio and Alfonso Fraile. My characters live in a transcended daily life, clean days, sunsets and fresh air.
What can you tell us about the flat features of your job?
I have always liked to transgress reality and invent almost cosmic spaces that relate to the characters. With flat bottoms, I manage to highlight the silhouette, and thus give more importance to the character. When it comes to making more worked backgrounds, as is the case with beach paintings, illusions of perspective are generated, it is the reverse as with flat background paintings. I create the background then I place the figure. I use the ends of figures, textures or background elements to break away from flatness and generate volumes, textures and a sense of perspective. Colors also help me create atmospheres, like when I use magentas to generate heat.
The materials used in my painting give me complete freedom of expression. The spray gives modernity, dynamism and color. The pencils and the marker create the screen, the waxes, the acrylics and the gouaches, the nuanced transparencies and the oil brings complexity.
When I saw the work that you exhibited in your first solo exhibition at the CAC, the first artist that came to my mind when looking at the paintings was Picasso and when I saw the sculptures, the first artist I thought of was Salvador Dali. Do they influence your work? How do cubism and surrealism blend with expressionism in your art?
Picasso of Classes. I admire that of Picasso job a lot Following than that of Dalí, for me he is the painter through Excellency, corn this is true this the sculptures can to be a little As that of Dalí job because of my Interpretation of dog shapes. But my painting has expressionist lines for the immediacy, the line is direct, even though I do a lot of sketching and preliminary study work.
Following my last question, what is the relationship between your work and artistic movements?
I have had a very direct love relationship with the Spanish The painting, I have practically grown up up in the Prado Museum, the better art Gallery in the world. I a m very proud To to be part of Spanish The painting tradition. Goya’s black paintings have always moved me, and of course Las Meninas by Velázquez, which I consider to be the best work.
My parents are both architects and I think architecture has a very important relationship with my work. I have traveled a lot to see art and visited fairs and museums around the world. I think everything I see influences me in one way or another. But if I had to cite specific movements, I would cite the El Paso Group in Madrid, New Figuration or American Abstract Expressionism as movements that may have influenced me.
I see To your job, and for a moment, I a m lodging in the ordinary moments in life, in a peaceful sense. What do you aim to offer the viewer?
I invite the viewer to look at things differently as I mentioned above. I would like the viewer to relate to my interpretation of reality and what surrounds us. I hope they experience my painting and its characters in the same way as I do, asking themselves: who are they? How is their life? Where do they come from and where are they going?
The ephemeral of paintings interests me, do you consider your own work to be precious? If you are not satisfied with a work, do you tend to destroy it or do you prefer to store it for a while and modify it later?
No, if something doesn’t convince me, I destroy it. I don’t like to look back, I can’t.
How does being a self-taught artist affect your style? Do you think it’s liberating, or has it ever been binding?
It’s always liberating.
Have you ever painted a mural or had an interest in doing so in the future?
I was never interested, really.
What’s the next step for you in 2022?
The truth is I’m very excited because a lot of interesting things are coming in 2022. I’m going to have an exhibition in Los Angeles with the Nino Mier gallery, I will be participating in Arco Madrid and many other projects that I still can’t talk about . , but which I find very exciting.