Artist of the Week: Veronica Rafael

Veronica Rafael is from Los Angeles, California and received her BFA in Photography from Parsons the New School for Design in NYC. She is co-curator of Fjord, and a contributor to MOSSLESS Magazine.

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Tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do?  Well, I just graduated from Parsons a few weeks ago and, like everyone else, I’m hunting for a job that will pay the rent but still challenge and inspire me artistically.  Ultimately, I’d like to pursue curating or photo editing for a major publication – having my own gallery is the ultimate goal, but I’m open to anything and everything until then.  

What projects are you currently working on?  My most recent project In Retrospect It’s Lucid is a disjointed narrative loosely based around a relationship that I was in for a long time. It’s not really a narrative about the relationship itself, but rather an interpretation of what my life was like during that time period. I think the series can be seen as both hopeful and catastrophic, which I’d say pretty much sums it up.

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When and where did your interest in art begin?  The first time I saw Diane Arbus’s work, I was completely taken with photography. After that, I started taking pictures, ended up at art school and became obsessed with looking at photographs. I’d say that’s pretty much how i spend 50% of my time.

What kinds of things are influencing your work right now?  I’m always a bit reluctant to admit my work is always about or influenced by my feelings, but almost everything I do and am attracted to is. I’m also really influenced by what I read.  Poetry is a huge influence – E. E. Cummings, Charles Bukowski, Frank O’ hara and Richard Brautigan are my favorites and I relate a lot of their work to photography when putting things together.

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What artists are you interested in right now?  Roe Ethridge, Jackson Eaton, Margaret Durow, Gerhard Richter, Jennilee Marigomen, Egon Schiele, and Todd Fisher.

What is one the bigger challenges you and/or other artists are struggling with these days?  Since graduation I think its become pretty apparent to us that we have no clear career paths as artists, which is stressful and scary when there’s rent to pay.  But I think we’ll all figure it out as time passes.  Until then, it’s a lot of panicking!  I also think it’s a little hard not to get caught up in what’s popular in photography and lose sight of your personal vision. I look at a lot of work that just reminds me of someone else’s and it’s kind of a bummer because I think everyone has something interesting to say or share.  The more true the work is to ourselves, the better it will be.  I think we just have to find that space and be comfortable with it.

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What do you do when you’re not working on art?  Lately I’ve been trying to find a way to get out of the city and explore whenever I can!  As much as I love NYC, I really love taking a breather and getting out – even if its just to explore a nearby state. My boyfriend and I took a mini road trip for a concert last night and found ourselves sitting in the back of a pickup truck watching fireflies buzz around in the parking lot of a small town in Pennsylvania.  I love that kind of stuff!  It’s so satisfying to see new things and share them with people you care about.  I’m lucky in that almost all of my loved ones on the east coast are photographers who love adventure time, so I have a few road trips to look forward to this summer!

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