Rafael Lanfranco is a Peruvian artist, who according to one of his releases, “creates… characters around the idea of redefining the Pre-Columbian Andean Art, with the aesthetics of Japanese kawaii, manga, popular culture and the toy art.”
Sounds good, right? It is!
We discovered Rafael Lanfranco’s work at the Singapore Contemporary art fair this month.
To us, it’s future-pop, a cartoon vision that summons the darkness of Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are but purrs with its own playful abandon.
In fact, we selected one of Rafael’s designs to be the lead-in image for our Singapore Contemporary round-up.
Then we got to meet him, and we liked him even more.
A little background for you, according to Rafael’s bio:
“Rafael Lanfranco is a partner and founder of 4D2 Studio, a Peruvian art, illustration and design studio that he runs along with Alonso Saavedra. Rafael is a self-taught artist, although he has attended several drawing, painting and sculpture workshops at Corriente Alterna Art School in Lima.
“He also holds a Master of Science degree in Communication from Boston University, (2005-2006), thanks to a Fulbright scholarship, and a Law degree from the Catholic University of Peru (1994-2000).
“He has exhibited at several galleries in his hometown in Lima, as well as in Sao Paolo, Brazil (the National Gallery 2013), Madrid, Spain (Mondo Grafico Gallery, 2014 where he is also an artist represented by the gallery) and Milan, Italy (Museum of Cultures, 2015).”
His latest exhibitions included the 2015 X-Contemporary Art Fair in Miami; a 2016 solo show at the Galería Atípico in Lima; and the 2017 Singapore Contemporary
Rafael is represented by Ilan Karpio, of IK Projects.
And now we’re glad you get to meet Rafael, too. Without further ado…
Seven Creative Questions for Rafael Lanfranco
NAME: Rafael Lanfranco
AGE (if you want to give it up): 40
COMPANY: Artist at IK Projects
HOMETOWN: Lima, Peru
CURRENT TOWN: Lima, Peru
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF:
I’m a self-taught artist, former lawyer, and communicator.
1. How long have you been an artist? And what is your earliest art memory?
I remember a beautiful sun drawn by a classmate when I was probably in first grade, around 7-8 years old. I don’t know why but that picture stuck with me until today. I believe that could be the first time I thought that something drawn by someone could be really beautiful and inspiring. Curiously, my 1-year-old son is called Luca, which means “derived from light.” There might be a subconscious connection there.
2. Who is the best new artist to emerge in the last five to ten years? Why?
Don’t have an answer to that. I’m not knowledgeable in the art world or art trends, or artists. In that terrain I am very ignorant. Really, I am more concerned with politics, sociological trends, human biology and technology, pop culture, humanities, and look to use art as a medium to integrate it all.
3. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve heard (business, dating or otherwise)? And do you follow it?
Always say “YES.”
4. What is your favorite place to shop, anywhere in the world, and why?
I’m a terrible shopper in general, but I enjoy buying collectible toys. I found this amazing store in Singapore called Simply Toys, and then in Lima, there is a wonderful underground Commercial Center called Arenales solely dedicated to this kind of toys. I’m currently building a modest collection.
5. What music, movie, book, or magazine gets you ready to paint, sketch, or brainstorm?
Mostly 80s music gets me in a good mood and then I have a great list of movie soundtracks.
6. What is the question a person should ask you, and how would you answer?
They can ask me, “how can I find my passion?” and I would answer, that is the wrong question to ask. In fact I would argue that question sets you up for terrible frustration, as passion is something ephemeral and short-termed. Instead I would suggest people in this kind of search, just pick something you enjoy doing, and keep at it for years. Eventually you’ll find something better: peace and satisfaction.
7. If you could only spend US$250, what art piece or pieces would you buy right now on eBay?
A Michael Keaton “Batman” from the first Tim Burton movie (1990), made by the Hong Kong firm Hot Toys. 1/6 scale. It’s an amazing design and an amazing rendition of the character.
Courtesy of charlesay / eBay.com
All Images Courtesy of Rafael Lanfranco, Unless Otherwise Noted.
Image Courtesy of NewsWhistle
OTHER “SEVEN CREATIVE QUESTIONS”