Raciel Gomez Golpe (born 1978) is an artist originally from Havana, Cuba, currently living and working in Florida, USA. He graduated in art and photography in Havana. "My aesthetic probes the stories that have been left behind, extoling and magnifying the human condition in its unique complexity."
How did you get into art?
Since my early childhood, art has been an integral part of my life. According to my mother, I started scribbling and drawing at the tender age of three. I vividly recall a moment when I confidently claimed that one of my scribbles represented a train. At the age of six, I received my first camera, igniting my passion for capturing images. By the time I turned nine, I had already enrolled in art classes, immersing myself in the realms of ceramic sculpture and drawing throughout my adolescence. Fortuitously, I had the privilege of studying Fine Arts at an esteemed academy that had nurtured many of Cuba's prominent painters. I completed my studies and graduated in the year 2000.
How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?
Defining my artistic style proves to be a challenge as I continually explore and incorporate various resources, mediums, elements, and trends in my creations. I consider myself an artist of genuine eclecticism, merging three overarching tendencies or styles: realism, abstraction, and graffiti. However, my approach extends beyond mere labels, as I incessantly experiment and push boundaries. Avoiding confinement to a single technique, I constantly venture into the realms of drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and their harmonious fusion. During my formative years, I found inspiration in ecology, the animal kingdom, and plant life, serving as my primary subjects. Over the past two decades, my artistic endeavors have been fueled by the urban landscape, architecture, and the intricate relationship between humans and their urban environment. Hence, I proudly identify myself as an urban visual artist.
How do you go about developing your work?
The majority of my artistic endeavors commence with photography. As an urban explorer, I traverse cities with my camera lens serving as my gateway to discovery. Capturing countless images during these expeditions, the subsequent process of settling and selecting the images that will form the basis of my artworks is both rigorous and immersive. It is during this critical phase that a dialogue between visuals and emotions ensues, leading me to explore new ideas. Utilizing digital tools, such as computers and iPads, I refine my sketches before determining the ideal medium and technique to bring my vision to life. My visual process revolves around the distillation of elements, drawing me towards abstraction and minimalism, guided by the belief that "less is more." In recent years, my work has taken on a more procedural nature, both conceptually and in the physical manifestation of the artwork itself. I now find myself amalgamating techniques and mediums like never before, resulting in intricate creative processes.
Who or what influences you?
Influence finds its roots in my sociological and anthropological observations of human beings within their environments, urban dynamics, and architectural marvels. Rather than being swayed by fleeting trends or seeking inspiration solely from fellow artists, I draw upon the exploration of cities and the profound connection between humanity and its surroundings. However, this does not imply ignorance of the historical context or the contributions of artists who have delved into similar themes as those I explore in my art. Once an idea takes shape, I embark on a quest for technical solutions to materialize it to its fullest potential, delving into the works and techniques of other artists.
Make us curious. What is planned next?
Presently, I find myself immersed in a captivating phase of experimentation, renewal, and openness to new mediums and themes. Over the past year, I have delved into the possibilities of culinary art and its interplay with visual arts. This exploration culminated in the event "Taste Art," where I collaborated with Chef Taimi Carrero, merging the realms of culinary and visual art. By conceptualizing food as an artistic element, I connected it with my series titled "Kotel" (The Wall). Building upon this foundation, I intend to further explore culinary art while simultaneously working on my upcoming solo exhibition in 2025. This exhibition will commemorate my 25-year artistic journey and unveil a new series that I have recently embarked upon. Additionally, preparations are underway for a new edition of the "Taste Art" event, where I will collaborate once again with the esteemed chef mentioned earlier.