Rafael Rodríguez Contreras

"¡Arte Loco en Lámina de Metal!"

May 5 - August 24, 2018

Opening Reception

Saturday, May 5, 2018
6pm to 9pm

Mexican folk artist Rafael Rodríguez Contreras' first US gallery exhibit, “¡Arte Loco en Lámina de Metal!” (Crazy Art on Thin Metal!), is curated by Kirk Baxter and Dave Waller who discovered this wonderful talent several years ago. Rafael is one of those creative spirits that are largely unknown and located throughout our world. They toil on a daily basis making great art that brings joy and humor to our routine lives.

Rafael has been selling his work at the well-known traditional Mexican public market “La Lagunilla” which has been around since the Aztec era. Many of his works have gone to other countries such as England, France, Spain, Germany, Japan, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Argentina, Canada, and the United States. In 2011 and 2012, he was invited to show his work in two calendars in Mexico, “Tequilero” and “The Mezcalero”. In 2012, he was part of the collective exhibition “Favores Insolitos” at the Popular Art Museum. In 2013, his work was sold at the “Lopez Morton” auction house in Mexico City. That same year, his paintings were exhibited at the MUJAN (Mexican Museum of the Old Toy). He had a solo exhibit at the Gallery Chavez and at the MODO (Museum of the Object of the Object) in 2014.

Artist Statement:

“I was born in Mexico City on May 2, 1974. Since I was kid, I have always liked colors, shapes, and being creative using my imagination. All of my life, I have been close to the market La Lagunilla. In fact, one my uncles was the famous seller Ignacio Contreras Fuentes 'El Chacharitas'. He took my uncles, cousins and me to La Lagunilla.

At La Lagunilla, I saw art, sculpture, brass work, lamps, furniture and of course the paintings of very famous artists such as Diego Rivera, Frida Khalo, Chucho Reyes, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Chavez Morado and many more. My fascination with that world grew exponentially. I was entering into the amazing Pre-Columbian world. The Mexican culture, bargaining, and the different personalities of sellers and buyers left such a mark in my life that I had the need to express what I felt. My first approach as a kid was drawing with pencils. I did not have the chance to go to art school so I consider myself self-taught. I have been doing the same technique for 23 years: thin tin painting. It is my way to express what I feel and see and preserve my work on hard material.”

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