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 both my Catholic upbringing and my experiences as a gay man. In most of my paintings we encounter a dichotomy created by the spiritual and sexual references used in the images. There is also a constant drift between abstraction and figuration in 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 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.

My work of art has always promoted equity and functions as a hopeful invitation to inclusive and harmonious coexistence. Some pieces celebrate lust, sensuality and spiritual ecstasy; other paintings confront the spectator with feelings of anxiety over perceived body image. They are surreal images of luminous forms that emerge to delight us and suggest introspection.

Héctor Rafael