Artist Spotlight: Rafael Arteaga
Rafael Arteaga was born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1986. He studied drawing and painting in the artistic group of the South (2004-2006) and has a degree in Plastic Arts from the Universidad Nacional Experimental de las Artes 2013.
Arteaga was 12 years old when he began to take courses in drawing and painting. When he went to university, he got a degree in painting, which allowed Arteaga to develop his own style, which led to him exhibiting his work in different countries and spaces that consolidated his career as a young artist.
Arteaga’s collective memory inspires his artwork. In his work, he reinterprets images of classical art with everyday elements. The artist’s paintings record his way of seeing the world through memory, history, and oblivion. While his style has been developed over time, it is currently a mixture of expressionism and pop art. Arteaga’s work occasionally touches on social and political issues, not only those of his home country of Venezuela but all historical events of the 20th century. His paintings are a reinterpretation of the vision the artist has of the world through memory, irony, and sarcasm. Arteaga hopes people can connect with his work through the images he paints. Believing that the concept of appropriating images from the past generates connections with the collective memory, and that creates a link between the viewer and the work.
The subject matter of his works are presented using a diluted form of acrylic paint and a method of loose brushstroke, allowing the imagery to be approached as a memory. Arteaga’s work is commonly generated from the selection of images that form a collage. He uses the collage as a reference for his painting; often taking between one to three weeks to complete each work.. Arteaga usually uses acrylic paint on canvas and, in some cases, uses oil paint and other materials.
Arteaga has worked on important restoration projects of the Venezuelan cultural heritage, has participated in group exhibitions such as the Velada de Santa Lucia (Maracaibo, 2013), the XVI SuperCable Youth Salon with FIA (Caracas, 2013), the Bremer Frühling Hamburg Art Festival (Hamburg, 2014). URBE group exhibition, Espacio 5 gallery, Carabobo. (2014). Exhibition PHOTO SUPPORT Spazio Zero Gallery, Caracas (2015). OASIS Exhibition, GBG Arts Gallery (Caracas 2016). Exhibition POP CONTEMPORARY, Galeria D'museo, Caracas. (2016). ILVF Gala Exhibition, GBG ART Miami, Florida, U.S.A. (2016). Exhibition Miramientos de Ida y vuelta, MOM Space Gallery, Hamburg, Germany. (2017). Exhibition Diachronic Coincidence, Space Gallery, Caracas. (2017) Exhibition Les Fläneurs. L'Inattendue Galerie, Paris, France. (2018). Exhibition Micro-relatos, Espacio 5 gallery, Caracas. (2018). Exhibition GPS8°N66° Demart Space Gallery. Lausanne, Switzerland. (2019) Exhibition Eugenio Mendoza Award, Sala Mendoza, UNIMET, Caracas. Exhibition THE PERSISTENT IMAGE, GBG Arts Gallery, Caracas. (2020). Among his individual exhibitions, Re-Cordis Exhibition, Espacio 5 Gallery, Valencia, Edo. Carabobo. (2015). Exhibition Things of Caracas, Macolla Creativa, La pastora, Caracas. (2016). Exhibition Éikon, Spazio Zero gallery. Caracas. (2016). Exhibition Memorábilis, Espacios gallery, the rose garden, Caracas. (2017). Exhibition "Mnemotropisms, Stimuli of Memory" MVD Gallery The ONG, Caracas. (2019).