Friday, December 7, 2007

Street Artist Rafael

First and foremost can you drop some knowledge about Rafael, for those who have not had the pleasure of being exposed to your work.
My name is Rafael Calazans Pierri (a.k.a Highraff since 2004).I have been a street artist since 1997. I have also written NOIS since 1999 with two other artists and friends. I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, on November 15th,1977. I graduated as a Graphic Designer in 2001, I´m currently working in the fields of fine arts and illustration. I´ve created my style of art, mixing graffiti, illustration, comic language, psychedelic art and organic forms in strong color combinations.

From your work I can see influences from Japan, South America, and Morocco. How did you create your style with such mass cultural appeal?
I was born and raised in São Paulo, Brasil. A huge city in a big country with multicultural influences... Immigrants from all over the world mixing all cultures in one place... I was influenced by arts and culture from many diferent places... I love the graphic simplicity, patterns, forms, colors and movements from Asian and specially Japan´s art. I study a lot from the concept of pre- Colombian/South American tribal arts from Mayas, Azteks and Incas to Brasilian Indigenous tribes. From Arab cultures, as Morroco, I was influenced by it´s rich caligraphic compositions, with millions of adornment, arabesque and details... I can say Indian culture and religion also influenced me a lot as well. I believe that the Divine Nature is the source of inspiration of all of those cultures, and I understand art as a material representation or a strong connection with God/Divine and Nature.

By the way, what is your all time favorite artist, whether it be animator,designer,or illustrator?
What a difficult question... I have no favorite one! There are so many good artists old and new school... I can say some names like Pablo Amaringo, Gilvan Samico, Herbert Baglione, Cisma, os Gemeos, MARS1, Shepard Fairey, Klimt, Alfons Mucha, Moebius, Dave Mackean, Gaudi among many others...

Apart from street culture, where do you get your inspirations for your illustrations and designs? Natural shapes and patterns, the spirituality of mother earth, ethnical art ancestral cultures, love for life, nature and art are some of my motivations. I seach direct influences from the forms Of Nature (like sun, moon, stars, plants, animals, cells, atoms, planets, etc...) and in the non material plans among us... I want to represent the nature on it´s fractal and psychedelic perfection... the cycles... of shadow and light... day and night, hot and cold... dualities... polarities and everything between it...

Besides your artwork, what else keeps you busy?
My wife, my dog, my family, skateboard, music and travelling to the nature...

It’s amazing to see the amount of dope graffiti designers with mad skills in Brazil. Do you collaborate with any other cats in Sao Paolo?
I have lots of friends, thank God! Some are artists and writters and I often paint or work together with many of them... Nois, Prozak, Tchais, Vicio, Boleta, Zezão, Flip, Titi Freak, Nunca, Eno, Caur, Coxas, Bepz, Guetto, Yusk, Ninguém, Não, Mea, Onesto, Pato, Tinho, Binho, Jey, Br, Toz, FBC, EOM, SHN, Dev, Dalata, Onio, Kboco, 2501 among many others...

Well Thanks Raff for your words, we continue to enlighten the minds and eyes of our readers. Your work, makes our mission ACCOMPLISHED!!