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Raphael Perez: The Artist is Art himself

I was contacted by this artist, Raphael "Rafi" Perez, an israeli painter living in Tel-aviv. Apart from the usually joy when someone contacts me since he values my LiveJournal (Rafi was obviously more interested in my Art post, but he said that my blog "is amazing with great LGBT subject"), I found his email and the attachments really interesting since he made himself part of his art; he sent me photos of his paintings with him near them, other than sending me some photos where he himself is the subject. I then browsed his website, almost a labyrinth of links where you can loose yourself, and was even more fascinated by the fact that he really lives his art. So today, I'd like to present you Raphael Perez.

Two primary styles dominate the Raphael Perez paintings:

REALISTIC STYLE in which red is the dominant color.

Man on Couch, 2004, Acrylic on canvas, 140 X 100, Private Collection

Second from the left: Man Sitting, 2004, Acrylic on canvas, 150 X 150, Private Collection
Third from the left: Woman on Couch, 2003, Acrylic on canvas, 150 X 100, Private Collection

Two Woman, Oil on canvas, 1998, 170 X 140, For Sale

Red Painting

NAIVE STYLE which has been influenced by my experience working with children.

Gay Artists

Decorative Artwork

Red 5, Acrylic on canvas, 1999, 200 X 150, Private Collection

Red 5, Acrylic on canvas, 1999, 200 X 150, Private Collection

Gay Family with Kid

Two Men Having Sex

Part of the site is devoted to Rafi's muses, Eitan Bismut, Chen and Kobi

Kobi on Arm Chair, 2000, 140 x 120, Acrylic on canvas, For Sale

"He is young. He is sexy. He is provocative. Kobi was 19 years old when I met him and in the closet. He was extroverted and sexy. However, he could not come out. He sequestered his sexuality from his parents. And this is how I depict him in the works and photos of him that I place before you all. He covers his face because he is closeted. But yet his bottom half of his body is naked and his body language is obvious in the works which show his emerging exceptance of his sexuality and his love for life."

Eitan sleeping on bed, March 2000, 190 X 120, For sale

"Eitan Bismut was the first full love connection. Eitan and Raphael met at Midnight at begining of 21st century. (The Year 2000). It was "love at first sight". The connection lasted 4.5 years. It finished June 2004. In this page, you can view Eitan's photo during their first period of meeting, realistic and expressive paintings that Raphael painted in the first year of their relationship. The series of paintings that are below is part of 50 realistic works that depict Eitan's beauty and emotion that caused excitement that was the glue of the relationship. It was the love and connection with Eitan that inspired Raphael's naive works and paintings that deal with gay couplehood and the queer family."

Chen Sit on sofa, 1999, Oil on canvas, 180 x 130, Private Collection

"Chen and I met on the telefone party-line (chat) when i was 34 years old and still was in a relationship with women and men. Chen was the first love that helped me solidify my sexuality. This connection lasted 5 intense months. The duration of our relationship was filled with all the trappings of first love. In the series of paintings that depict this excitement that we did everything together, peeing, bathing, eating, sleeping, etc..... all together. I painted all these paintings from the perspective of me looking from the outside. I can't never depict myself. This serves as a kind of disconnect for me from the subject matter that I am trying to depict."

Finally part of the website is devoted to Raphael Perez's works as photographer, both as subject than only witness. The fact that he created a series of shots of older couple made me smile.

The artist, Raphael Perez, was born in 1965 and was raised in Jerusalem. He currently resides and works in Tel-Aviv. He is a graduate of the Jerusalem school of Visual Arts where he studied from 1988 through 1992 and where many of his acryllic, oil, laminated wood pieces and drawings can be found. Beginning in 1995, the artist's drawings depicted intimate relationships between two people whether man and woman, two women and two men. The entire concept of a relationship and sentiments between two people is brought to light. In each painting there is an evident contrast between shade and light. The color red is central to his paintings and consistently symbolizes masculinity, passion and dominance. Within each gallery, one can find a short paragraph of information regarding that particlular gallery.
Perez`s creations deal with the subject of homosexuality. He puts a strong emphasis on single-sex families, pride parades, soldiers, male birth giving, portraits, male nudity, as well as male, female and heterosexual couples. His paintings put to test the boundaries between eroticism and art, while characterizing gay relationships and love as they are expressed in everyday life.


More Artists at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art

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