Rafael M. Sanchez
Rafael Sanchez was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1978. He spent much of his time traveling between the brick city and the rural south of Warrenton County, North Carolina. The south was where Rafael developed his appreciation for nature, his love for God, and his interest in art. He graduated from Brown University in 2000 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Africana studies. While in his last semester at Brown, he took his one and only art class, Public Space and Public Art. The course exposed him to the art of Adrian Piper, Barbara Kruger, and Christo among others. Mr. Sanchez currently teaches Algebra and English at a private school in Newark. He is also pursuing his master’s degree in Art Therapy at the College of New Rochelle.
During the last decade, the art Rafael has created is a result of his desire to perceive of a reality that is ignored or forgotten. Whether he runs with a suitcase towards a past he never knew, the Back to Africa performance, or dreaming of a society that pays money for people to say what they really want, the Make a Wish-Make some Bubbles-Get a Nickelperformance; the most important achievement for Rafael’s art is that he allow the audience to experience the same world that he envisions. The materials, symbols, actions of endurance, repetitive phrases and risk of bodily injury, all attempt to change the way one person communicates with themselves and others. For example, during Target Practice, it is Rafael’s hope that the woman or man who successfully hits him with a balloon filled with motor oil will challenge his or her own notion of the benefits of exploiting a developing country for its natural resources. This challenge of communicating such immensely complex ideas to an audience is what inspires him.
The creative process is something that will always fascinate and inspire Mr. Sanchez. All of his creations, whether performance, installation, painting or silk-screen, enable him to use his intimate relationship with memory and endurance to facilitate his growth and development.