Rafi Perez Bio

Rafi Perez is an award-winning contemporary artist who creates emotionally charged works. His art is meant to inspire empowerment, self-awareness, and mindfulness. His diverse collection of work has been described as reminders of personal power and beauty. He is best known for his use of texture, bold color palettes, experimental techniques, and striking pieces that each has an emotional, and deeply personal story to tell.

Rafi Perez began creating art as a child by using found objects around his home. He would often get in trouble for using items and surfaces that were not meant for artistic expression. His parents eventually would make sure Rafi had art supplies. Despite maintaining his passion for creating throughout his life, he ended up going into the corporate world to acquire stability and security. He moved up the corporate ladder quickly and realized that he was sacrificing his creative spirit in chasing security. After what felt like a lifetime of being a dependable, responsible, and likable employee, he went “rogue.” He went against all the standards and expectations of him and became the artist he was always meant to be.

He left all the security behind and found comfort in facing the unknown. He challenged himself to face obstacles and make himself comfortable in any situation. He renovated an old 1992 Explorer and traveled the country with his (now) wife Klee Angelie to further challenge themselves. This journey was an eye-opening and life-changing experience that shifted his perspective on possibility, coloring the world with wonder and persistence to enjoy every moment of life entirely. Every moment on the road and beyond would be seen through a new lens of empowerment.

Today, Rafi stands for himself by being authentic through his artistic journey, where he meets all challenges and successes as an ever-evolving adventure for self-awareness and growth. Rafi believes that everyone can find their own brand of empowerment and strength. He wants his viewer to be reminded of their own extraordinary ability to blaze their own trail and be who they want to be.

Rafi is an established artist whose sense of adventure and constant experimentation in his studio has led him to develop a painting technique with unique characteristics. His ambition with his paintings is to use symbolic shapes, figures, texture, and colors to express his deepest emotions and passion for life. This leads him to apply paint to the canvas in unusual and interesting ways. His paintings also require layers upon layers of paint to create a sensuous and turbulent surface texture that is as vital and as complex as life itself. He uses color to allure an imaginative and emotional response from the viewer. His dynamic depictions of the human experience and expressions are the product of many days of working and reworking.

Rafi is the author of The Rogue Artist’s Survival Guide Series. He has become both a mentor and an inspiration to an international collection of Rogue Artists by bringing vision, encouragement, and love to talented artists trying to find their own way.

Artist Statement:


My whole life, I’ve been exploring the profound question ‘what does it mean to be human?’ I spend my time questioning the narrative and labels that come with status, gender, wealth, race, and other social structures that have power in controlling how we can see the world. We tend to identify humans into groups and generalize who they are based on social constructs.

This is how we can tell one person from another. We look at their gender, race, and social-economic status and label them into neat little boxes. We all take part in it as it evolves through time and gets passed down the generations.

Yet, it is the things that are immutable that tell us the truth about our humanity. We all cry, laugh, hurt, love, and want to be loved. Those things that bring us together are ultimately what is rooted in truth. Our ability to experience all of the good, bad, and ugly and still persist with love and strength is the stuff of life, and it permeates everything I do and all that I represent.

I am on a journey to rediscover the source of our power, the human spirit, which thrives when we remember our strength, passion, love, empowerment, and badassery.

My exhibitions are a testament to the human spirit. There is a calling within each work that I create to explore and understand the human experience. The figures in my paintings are mainly in a moment of metamorphosis and realization of a deeper narrative. As with life, it is those moments that can change everything.

PREMIERE EXHIBITIONS, EVENTS, & AWARDS

2021

  • Luna Fine Art Gallery, Stuff Of Life Exhibit, Pensacola Beach FL – Solo Exhibition
  • Luna Fine Art Gallery, Heroes Exhibit, Pensacola Beach FL – Awarded
  • Rafi’s Artstravaganza, Dolce & Gelato, Pensacola FL – Continued

2020 (The Year That Shall Not Be Named)

  • Luna Fine Art Gallery, Luminaries Exhibit, Pensacola Beach FL – Awarded
  • Rafi’s Artstravaganza, Dolce & Gelato, Pensacola FL

2019

  • Setco Corporate Public Commission, Pensacola FL
  • Art Of Imperfect Art, Santa Rosa Art Association Live Talk, Santa Rosa FL
  • First City Group Show, Gallery 1060, Pensacola FL
  • Hansen Open House Gallery Show, Pensacola FL
  • Live Juice Bar: Featured Artist Solo Show, Pensacola FL
  • Pelican Perch Public Commission, Pensacola FL
  • Being An Artist, Montessori School, Live Talk, Pensacola FL
  • Jaco’s Art a la Carte: Featured Solo Show, Pensacola FL

2018

  • The Happy Art Tour: Featured Art Installation, Pensacola FL
  • Jaco’s Art a la Carte: Featured Solo Show, Pensacola FL
  • Sunflowers And Stardust Solo Show Artel Gallery, Pensacola FL
  • Live Juice Bar: Featured Artist Solo Show, Pensacola FL
  • Southtowne Apartments Opening Live Painting, Pensacola FL
  • Downtown Gallery Night Design Contest Winner 2018 , Pensacola FL
  • Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose… Repeat. Artel Gallery, Pensacola FL Awarded (Best In Show)
  • Baptist Hospital Gallery: Featured Solo Exhibition, Pensacola FL

2017

  • Jaco’s Art a la Carte: Featured Solo Show, Pensacola FL
  • Art at the Annex: Drawing Rally, Live Painting, Pensacola FL
  • Art at the Annex: Graffiti/Street Art Pop-Up, Pensacola FL
  • Inweekly Magazine Voted Runner-up Best Of The Coast 2017
  • Gallery Night September: Featured Artist, Downtown Pensacola FL
  • Gulf Breeze Arts: Speaker (Creativity and Life), Gulf Breeze FL
  • Love & Hate: A Remix Of Urban Experience. BUILD, Chicago IL
  • I am not an EXIT: My Guide To I AM, Solo Show. Artel Gallery, Pensacola FL

2016

  • Cinco Banderas Collection. Artel Gallery, Pensacola FL
  • It’s A Zoo In Here. Artel Gallery, Pensacola FL – Awarded (Best In Show)
  • Inweekly Magazine Voted Best Of The Coast 2016
  • Uptown/Downtown. Artel Gallery, Pensacola FL
  • Mural Project on Palafox St., Historic Downtown, Pensacola FL
  • Rock Your Senses – Live Painting At Vinyl Music Hall, Pensacola FL
  • Curated Compassion – Interactive Installation, Pensacola FL

2015

  • You Are Here: The Strange Curiosity Of Right Now. SoloArt Exhibition. Marty Campbell Galley, Pensacola FL
  • Mahabhuta Yoga Festival Featured Artist, Pensacola FL
  • Downtown Wine Walk, Live Painting, Historic Downtown Pensacola FL
  • The Daily Brew – Live Painting On Network Television, Pensacola FL

2014

  • Rock Your Face For The Holidays – Live Painting At Vinyl Music Hall, Pensacola FL
  • New Blues Show. Blue Morning Gallery, Pensacola FL
  • Artist Gone Wild, NWFAS, Pensacola FL
  • Downtown Wine Walk, Live Painting, Historic Downtown Pensacola FL

2013

  • Milton River Walk, COM, Milton Florida – Awarded (White Ribbon)
  • Artmore Gallery Event, Atmore AL
  • The Rotation Of Painting,The Yard, East Hill Yard, Pensacola FL
  • Artist Gone Wild, NWFAS, Pensacola FL
  • PMA (Pensacola Museum of Art) Members Show, Pensacola FL

2012

  • Art From The Heart, Gourmet Dinner Night, Pensacola FL
  • Art Party X, Pensacola, FL
  • Gulf Breeze Celebrates The Arts, Gulf Breeze FL

2004

  • Avant-Grande, MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) Warehouse, Chicago IL

More About Rafi’s Art

His Paintings represent the discovery of mysteries of the subconscious mind that are part of his own personal journey in life. The art holds the promise of dreams, visions, fears, intangibles, and will. It is a collaboration of the mind and spirit. It is designed to speak to the viewer in a confidential language. Once a piece of art grabs you, you cannot help but interact with it; it demands contemplation, study, feeling, and flights of fancy.

Hope's Dove By Rafi Perez
Hope’s Dove By Rafi Perez

“He is driven to communicate visual qualities of perhaps the external environment which offers us freedom and inspiration as we cope with awesome focal points in the vast open space surrounding our existence. He attempts to show the internal passion of human sensuality that brings quality to our senses stimulating and extending our consciousness elevating life as individuals or sharing space with others around us.Ultimately Rafi seems to convey simple sophistication and intellectual freedom as he uses the visual language to express the human potential.” – Spiros Zachos (PO10TIAL Magazine)

Rafi’s work can be found in a myriad of public and private art collections both in the United States and abroad, He currently lives and works in Pensacola, Florida.

Rafi Was Here Mobile
Rafi Was Here Mobile