I am excited to announce that I will be showing my art in the alcove at Artel Gallery in beautiful downtown Pensacola.
The show is called Sunflowers & The Nature Of Being. It is meant to ignite the spark within the imagination of the viewer as he or she explores the art, discovering a collection based on beauty, nature, and the human spirit.
I’m hoping it will be a window for self discovery, dialogue and inspiration. Show runs from Sept 4th – Oct 19th.
Join me for the reception on Sept 13th from 6 -8pm.
What: Sunflowers & The Nature Of Being Solo Show Reception
As I approached the gallery I found myself wondering how in the world I was going to get the massive sculpture I constructed up the stairs. I had somehow managed to squeeze it into my car without damaging it, which I attributed to dumb luck.
Luck seemed to be on my side that morning, considering I had pulled into a parking spot right in front of the shiny and unending staircase into the gallery.
I’ve entered the juried art competitions at Artel Gallery a handful of times with varying results. I still remember the first piece I entered, which was rejected with no particular pomp and circumstance. It was laid off to the side with the other rejects waiting for me to glumly collect it, like picking up a child from detention.
That rejection had a devastating impact on my self esteem as an artist for some time. I had just started selling my art and gaining some traction with local collectors, and it caused me to feel like I wasn’t good enough to continue masquerading as an artist.
It wasn’t until several years later that I decided to enter another piece, which didn’t get rejected.
The marble steps to the gallery blazed white in the hot sun, daring me to make a move. I had managed to get the sculpture out of the car without damaging it, knocking myself in the head only once.
The only idea that my mind could seem to muster that morning was to pick up the sculpture and maneuver the stairs as quickly as possible. The sculpture isn’t necessarily heavy, it’s just awkward to carry around, because like most sculptures, I didn’t design it to be carried around.
I prepared myself at the bottom of the mountainous stairs, glanced around to make sure no one was watching, and steadied my breath. One false move and all the work and effort that went into my art would be laying in pieces on the forbidding marble steps.
After deciding to enter my art again, I got pieces into four separate shows, won best of show, and had a solo show in their alcove. I also got rejected two more times, but it didn’t have an impact on my self esteem as an artist. Some might attribute the lack of feeling dejected to the fact that I had a couple years as a career artist under my belt, but I know plenty of seasoned artists who have a difficult time with any rejection.
I don’t have difficulty with rejection because after two years of avoiding art competitions, I finally realized that you can’t win if you don’t enter; and your art is not being rejected, it simply didn’t match the taste of the juror. The thing is, that art competitions don’t matter, but if you want to win one, you are going to have to face rejection. In fact, if you want to do anything awesome or important with your art career, you are probably going to face a lot of rejection and criticism.
If you want to be safe from rejection, then don’t put yourself out there, don’t do anything different from the norm, don’t try to have a voice, and definitely don’t become an artist.
Simply because someone rejects your artwork (or whatever it may be) doesn’t mean that you are worthless. It doesn’t have anything to do with you, and never will. A lot of people avoid thinking about being rejected or losing, but in my opinion it’s a good idea to think about that worst case scenario, and face the fear in your mind.
What if my piece gets rejected? How will I feel? What does it mean?
These could be hard questions, but until you ask yourself and question the validity of your answers, you are going to keep reacting in misery to rejection. The really cool thing about exploring these questions is that you don’t have to react at all, you can respond to the situation however you like.
My answers are less dramatic and devastating since I’ve had a chance to explore this topic and really decide how I want to respond to these questions and this particular type of rejection.
What if my piece gets rejected?
Then it get’s rejected. I pick it up, bring it home and probably sell it at some point in my lifetime. Who knows, it may win a prize at some other art competition… just didn’t suit the juror this time I guess.
How will I feel?
Fine, I have other more important things to focus on.
What does this mean?
Only what I think it means. If I think I’m a failure or a reject, that’s on me. This is an opportunity for me to show myself who I am, by the way I respond. I choose to respond by saying “Well, maybe next time… I got shit to do right now.”
I glanced around one more time, held my breath, and made a run for it. I verbally counted every step as I ascended the stairs with the agility of sloth in running shoes.
Out of breath and elated that I made it to the top, I stood there gleaming in victory. I then proceeded to scrape and bang my way awkwardly through the front door, hitting my head one more time for good measure. I placed the sculpture safely in the gallery lobby, signed it in, and breathed a sigh of relief.
By the way, it was number 13 in the roster… talk about dumb luck.
I had done it. I achieved something I thought was impossible to do on my own, willing to face humiliation and rejection for something I love and believe in… my art, my sense of fun, my freedom to be me.
Had I given up, after that first rejection it would have controlled me. I would have spent the rest of my life being afraid to face rejection, and I would have been filled with “what ifs”.
I don’t believe you actually fail, even if your art doesn’t get in. Even if you get rejected, or lose… I think you only fail if you give up… because that’s the one thing you have control over.
It’s sometimes easy to give up because things might seem hopeless or hard. I didn’t think I could possibly get the sculpture to the gallery on my own, but my belief in dumb luck took over, and I decided to try.
As this week comes to a close, I look around my messy studio and ponder the events that lead up to this point. Several projects in their half finished state screaming for my attention, wanting the closure that all artistic creations seek.
Yet, in this myriad of untidy unrest I find myself happy.
Not because of the mess… I’m actually not fond of messes. I feel like your mind is a reflection of your surrounding, so a cluttered mind equals a cluttered house. In my case a holy crap batman studio equals a holy crap batman mind.
I think it’s because this week I was very deliberate about how I spent my time. I looked at every moment as a gift and decided to spend it doing something meaningful.
Now, I have a lot of projects that I’m working on, such as artworks, pieces for the art hunt, videos, planing an exhibition, so you would think my time is always pretty deliberate… but it’s not.
Recently, I had gotten in the habit of sitting on my couch in the studio and vegging out. Like full on, staring at nothing for who knows how long, minus the drool… that’s gross.
I realized that during that time, I wasn’t thinking about what I was thinking. I was just thinking random things and not necessarily noticing what I was thinking. It wasn’t good things either, I was complaining to myself about things and not even noticing that I was complaining.
So, I decided to pay attention, I was going to think about the things that I decided to think about, not just random happenstance.
And so, when I looked around today, I saw passion and a sense of love for what I do. I felt full… much better than sitting there mindlessly wondering what I would do if I was fighting a zombie dressed as a clown… Not that I wouldn’t take an opportunity to think about it, but it’s so much cooler when you do it deliberately.
This next Gallery Night I’m going to be a part of something that is both nerve-racking and exciting. Get ready for:
Art at the Annex: Drawing Rally
On Friday, November 17 from 6 PM – 9 PM, During Gallery Night, at The Cowork Annex (13 Palafox Pl.) is going to be an event that I have rarely experienced here in Pensacola.
Part live art-making performance, part arts community awareness. Watch as local artists create artworks from start-to-finish while under a three hour time limit in front of a live audience – who can silently bid on the works as they are made.
Are you kidding me?? That sounds amazing!!!
Join us for this exciting live event – including fire dancing performances, music by AnyDayDJ.Com, an interactive creation station, photo booth, and tours of downtown’s new cowork @nnex facilities! @rt at the @nnex is free and open to the public on 11.17 from 6-9pm – during downtown Pensacola Gallery Night.
Josh Green, Jarrod Goldman, Famous Gabe, Loren Miller, Kenneth Jordan, Carter J. Gaston, Marina C. Quirk, Brennah St. Ores, Rafi Perez (hey that’s me!), Elizabeth Matthews, Wolfy Howell, Tina Ogden, Nate Lyle, Anne Gray, Angelenia Edwards and Lindsey Gray.
This is such an amazing group of artists, I am truly honored.
WHAT: Art at the Annex: Drawing Rally
WHERE: The Cowork Annex (13 Palafox Pl.)
WHEN: Friday, November 17 from 6 PM – 9 PM, During Gallery Night
WHY: Because it’s awesome!
To all my awesome artists friends, updated artist participation list online. Deadline for artist participation is Nov. 14th. Details and application online at leaderfineart.com/call-for-artists.
I have always been fascinated by portraiture, and what I think of as an artistic snapshot of the personality of a human being in motion through life. Although I admire and have an appreciation for portraits, they’ve never really been my favorite thing to work on.
I am currently working on some studies, where I take images of real people and apply them to the life concepts that I put in my collections.
I am always looking for inspiring pictures, and would love an opportunity to paint you or someone you know into a piece of “Rafi Art” and as my friend said, be immortalized.
All you have to do is email me an image and some info to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Follow These Rules Of Thumb:
Images must be sharp and not blurry.
Please have good lighting in the photo.
I will accept- close up of the face (preferably no smiling for the camera poses), artistic poses, tasteful nudes, something that tells a story, or just an awesome photo.
It would be helpful if you gave me a little insight on the person in the image.
Things like, favorite color, strengths and what you would like say with the painting are helpful.
Please keep in mind that if you are chosen for one of the works, I will take the image and info and create something inspired by the information, but ultimately I retain full control of the creative process. This is not a commission. If you would like to commission me, contact me with details for consideration.
If your image is chosen and created, you are in no way obligated to buy the original piece, these are studies that will be done on 11X14 paper. I will send you a printable copy via email that you can print out (FREE) as a thank you.
I will contact you if I intend to use your image. This is a side project so please be patient.
By sending me an image you are giving me permission to use it in this project.
As you can see, instead of “Art Creations For Your Inbox” I’ve decided to change it to “New Art From Rafi And Klee” because I think, it’s way more fun… and more accurate.
My art reception was last Thursday and it was a huge success! Thank you so much to everyone that came out to the reception and throughout the exhibition so far. It will continue running at Artel Gallery in Pensacola until April 7th.
We have some new creations to share with you this week, both Klee and I are super excited about it!
But before we get into that, here is an amazing quote I would like to share with you:
“The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real.” Lucian Freud
I love this quote, because I love creating abstract work. It gives me an opportunity to share the way that I think and see the world. Try it sometime, take a look at a familiar object, detach yourself from the label or name of the object, then keep looking. Allow yourself to take it apart in your mind and turn it into blocks of color, textures, and shading. See the unknown in the familiar, and turn the world you think you know upside down.
Ok, as I promised here is the art and jewelry! Enjoy!
14k Gold Filled Quartz Crystal Lantern Necklace By Klee
“This beautiful double terminated clear quartz crystal sits pristine in it’s 14k yellow gold filled woven bezel. The design is reminiscent of cathedral windows and old world lanterns, centering on the beauty of the light that passes through the crystal. A modern interpretation of a beautiful relic from times gone by.“
Window To The City original painting by artist Rafi
“Looking out the window at the world that surrounds me. I have a relationship with the city that looks back at me, the people that I recognize every day, going through the same routines. I know them, even though they will never know me, a silent child who dreams of joining the world outside.”
Gold Filled Quartz Crystal Tassel Earrings By Klee
“These earrings feature gorgeous raw clear quartz crystal points wrapped in 14k yellow gold filled wire, with spiral back detailing and gold filled chain tassels to create movement and light play with the crystals. Fun and funky, elegant and earthy, these are awesome for dress up or casual wear.”
The Recovery Of Bliss By Rafi
“Logic and reason dominates the scene. Everything must make sense, everything must be logical, yet the greatest power we have is to stop thinking and melt away the calculating mind. To sit in silence, soak in our surroundings, or travel in our imagination to a place that is blissful… None of this makes sense in our analytical world and yet, there it is.”
Have an amazing week! You are awesome! Just remember, we may have names for the things we see in the world, but really, they are just blocks of color, texture, and shades. Look at the world differently, who knows, you may see the similar in a vastly different way.
Remember to stay endlessly inspired by the stuff of life!
Recently I entered an international art competition. Well, first let me say, I entered an art competition, which was nerve racking for me. Yeah… Nerve racking… Weird, right?
As part of my 2017 growth as a person, and artist goal, I’ve decided to enter as many international art competitions as I can. Some of you that watch my videos, or have read past blogs, know I have an unreasonable fear of art competitions.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my fear was getting in the way of my achievements as an artist. How am I supposed to win an international art competition, if I’m paralyzed by fear of being judged inadequate? Or worse, what if I win?
Yup, the closer I looked, the more I started to realize that I was also afraid of winning.
Now, let’s get something straight, I really don’t care much about winning or losing. I also am not very concerned about opinions or criticisms about my art. I rather enjoy them, I love hearing the unique perspectives that the viewer brings to the work. Even when it’s negative, I learn something about people.
I mean, c’mon, one of my best friends sees something lewd or sexual in just about every piece I create – sometimes he can’t help it. If I got offended or hurt , I wouldn’t be able to enjoy his genuine reaction to the art. Come to think of it, my father is pretty much a perverted twelve year old when it comes to my art too, so maybe that’s why it doesn’t phase me.
I painted a beautiful painting of a bald eagle for a benefit event, for the Northwest Florida Wildlife Sanctuary. My dad showed up and told everyone it reminded him of a retarded parrot. I didn’t care, he’s genuine… and a little like a retarded parrot himself.
I would rather have genuine reactions, no matter how childish, than polite smiles and scripted responses because people are afraid to hurt my feelings.
That being said, I feel like competitions can be a bit cold. The human interaction between the work can easily be mechanical, because you are comparing pieces to one another and not allowing your relationship with the art to fully form.
But, either way, what was I talking about? Art competitions, I’m doing them this year… Why not?
So my first piece that I’ve created is based on a competition with a tag line of “Passion To Perform.”
I struggled a little with this because the word perform has such a corporate connotation to me. Your performance is evaluated at the end of the year, and the over all performance of the company, and blah blah blah.
You can imagine how the word passion just didn’t seem to fit in my mind.
Luckily, I’m married to an extremely brilliant woman, who also happened to be a vocalist for over a decade, and has a different spin on the word perform.
“It’s like, when you get up on stage and sing, or you dance at the ballet, or act on Broadway… If you are passionate, it shines through.”
So I created this piece called the Origin Of Passion. It is the representation of how I believe the seed of passion can bloom. That contemplative moment, where you are thinking about giving up, and realize that you must move forward. Despite the roadblocks, naysayers, and dark days, you are determined.
The golden words in her hair are the reminder of the power that this passion brings you. Courage, strength, growth, determination, perseverance, inspiration, boldness, vision, and creativity.
I remember back when I quit my corporate job and was reevaluating my life, and wanting to be more creative, a lot of my friends and family were not supportive. In fact, not supportive is an understatement, I’m sure there were a lot of concerned conversations, judgement, and name calling.
But I didn’t care, because I was, and am passionate about my life, creativity, and spreading a positive message into the world. I think if you are passionate about something and you practice courage, strength, growth, determination, perseverance, inspiration, boldness, vision, and creativity… You become unstoppable… Even when your aunt thinks you’re crazy.
Opening reception for “It’s a zoo in here” at Artel Gallery was last night. In preparation for the show, I changed my clothes about a hundred times. I finally settled for the first thing I had picked out, and headed out to mingle with the art crowd of Pensacola. Last night I had the opportunity to face another fear. Fear of recognition for winning best of show.
I know what you’re thinking, “Really dude, fear of being recognized for winning best of show?”
Yup… It seems pretty interesting to me that I have these hidden fears, that really don’t make much sense, but I can feel them just the same.
I walked in with Klee, and my good friends, Monica and James, they were all my backup in case I started hyperventilating or something.
When we arrived we were given raffle tickets and welcomed to the show.
Immediately, I was pulled into a conversation with someone who had seen my videos about facing my fear of entering the competition. It was an intriguing conversation about facing fears, and about the caveman instincts that bring those fears up to the surface.
Then, I was asked if I wanted to take a picture with my piece, and I did. Then, I was surrounded by a mob of people, asking about the piece, asking about my history, or simply catching up. People that I adore, that I haven’t seen in a while, and new people that I was meeting for the first time. It pretty much went like that for most of the evening… It was awesome.
At least, until they announced the winners. I had won best of show, so I was announced last. There was a thunderous applause, and I wanted to hide, which I successfully did… until Susanne, who was making the announcements said “Where is he, is he here?”
All eyes landed on me, I half waved and probably turned beet red.
Then, it was over. On to the next thing.
They called out the numbers to the raffle, and my friend Monica won chocolate… to which I exclaimed “I never win anything.”
Fellow artist, Marty Campbell replied “Sure you don’t, just best of show.”
All in all, it was an awesome experience, and one that I hope to have again and again.
If you are in Pensacola, and you want to check out the show, it will be running at The Artel Gallery October 4 – October 28, 2016.
So, yesterday I submitted some pieces that I created for a juried art show that takes place at Artel Gallery, in downtown Pensacola.
I’m sure most of you will find it hard to believe, that it was a terrifying act for me. Yeah, only my closest friends (and now you) know that I have an childlike fear of having my art judged by art competition judges.
Let’s make something clear, I don’t mind having my art judged. People judge my art all the time, some love it, some hate it, either way, it doesn’t bother me. Put the art in a competitive setting and I become a nervous third grader.
Now, I’m fully aware this is ridiculous. I’m an established artist, I have collectors of my work, and I am well known… yet, just because it doesn’t make sense, doesn’t mean I didn’t almost piss myself yesterday.
This video will let you live my experience yesterday:
The theme of the show is about animal life. The show is called “It’s A Zoo In Here” and runs for the month of October.
I decided to enter the show, face my fears, and submit my art… For the past few years, I’ve been working on getting rid of silly fears that stand in the way. Sometimes, I have to push outside of my comfort zones, which seems to be an ongoing thing, so I better get used to it.
I created two pieces for the show called “Rags to Fishes” and “Rehabilitation Of Beauty.” My friend and art collector, Monica Gaskins owns a Zebra sculpture I created recently, and she allowed me to submit it as my third piece.
“Rags to Fishes” is a sculpture I created using old pieces of canvas that I collected from the stretching process. They typically get thrown away, but it seemed like such a waste to throw perfectly good canvas away… that stuff is expensive, and I couldn’t bring myself to just throw it away.
Watch the video above to hear which piece won best of show… That’s right! I won best of show… How awesome is that!
The show reception is Wednesday, October 12, 6pm-8pm. Klee and I will be there, which is also outside of my comfort zone because I got best of show, and there is a part of me that doesn’t know how to handle that… Like I said ridiculous, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. 🙂