Artist Statement

My paintings are full of a surrealist queerness and a sense of existentialism that transcend our customary ways of seeing reality. Gender issues and human sexuality have intrigued me from an early age. My artwork has been affected by my Catholic upbringing in contrast to my experiences as a gay man. The dichotomy created by the presence of sex and spirituality combined with a constant drift between abstraction and figuration are fundamental elements of my body of work. 

Throughout the years I have created paintings that play with perception and preconceived ideas of the male and female form. I deconstruct and reconstruct the human body as a way of redefining masculinity and femininity.  My paintings depict beings that overcome their fragmentation through their transfiguration; bodies that transcend time and space creating a link between the internal and external universe. The representation of sectioned and reconstructed nudes suggests sexualities that have been interrupted, manipulated, and magnified for public contemplation. The anatomical references merge into each other creating ambiguous sexual forms where male and female become one. The traditional definitions of masculinity and femininity are erased and the eyes of the spectator are opened to a new realm of possibilities.

In my recent work I explore  masculinity, social expectations, mental health, and homosexuality. My self-portrait has taken a more important role. In each piece fragmented self-portraits interact with each other or with the viewer as they are separated by abstract forms. The series takes the audience on an emotional journey in which they move from artworks that are filled with lust and sensuality to pictures that confront them with the artist's feelings of shame and anxiety over perceived body image. 

My work of art has always promoted equity and functions as a hopeful invitation to inclusive and harmonious coexistence. They are surreal images of luminous forms that emerge to delight us and suggest introspection; artwork that echo the uncontainable energy that revives, unifies, and transforms the universe.

Héctor Rafael