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Transforming fear into love with Rafaella Braga


Rafaella is a Brazilian Berlin-based artist who is transmitting her personal state and current emotional responses within her colorful paintings using various mediums on canvas: “It's all about the moment. When I go to the studio to meet my canvas and brushes it's almost the same as enjoying the night with my homies at a party. My energy is completely here and now.” Viewers are left to discover her rich works in their very own way to experience their own self while observing. We had a little chat with the aspiring artist to find out more about her works:


STK: You are trying to convert fear into love through your paintings. What do you fear the most? And how do you exactly convert it into love?


Rafaella: For me all the fears are connected with the fact that we overthink about the past and future. So to transform these fears into love it's the same as being present. And that's what my paintings do with myself. I feel like I dive my whole self in the present, like me and my figures are living a real story together where they take me to visit their fantastical world.

STK: When we looked at your paintings, instantly Jean Michel Basquiat´s works popped up in our minds. Do you draw inspiration from him?

Rafaella: I feel honored, but it's always funny to read cause I heard it a lot. And I think it's because it's more simple to understand an art piece when you put a label on it. My inspiration comes from my own life experience, while Basquiat inspiration came from his life experiences, so I understand that there will be similarities in our works and spirit, like in many other artists, especially from the 20th century, but the narrative and language is what brings to each artist a unique vision. And I'm glad my works have been building their own path.


STK: How do you inspire yourself when you are creatively stuck? When all the natural flow isn't present.

Rafaella: I don't believe in creative blocks. I see that this is just a self-judgment of "I think my ideas aren't good enough to be put on paper". Getting out of this duality of what is beautiful or ugly, good or bad, opens up another range of possibilities. Everything is valid, as this is part of the process and is what contributes to our imaginary development.

STK: Do you think that a lot of emotions you express are influenced by the restrictive system we are living in?

Rafaella: Yes. My paintings come a lot from the discomfort with our reality and the curiosity to visit others, to go to worlds that I don't have access to here.


STK: What's your standpoint on misleading gender roles? How do you depict this in your works?

Rafaella: Gender affects everything. People expect something from you based on your gender. But when you realize that gender lives in subjectivity and is something relative you understand that you cannot be minimized by it, cause you are an infinite possibility. I like how my figures don't represent any gender, but a flow of existence where they simply are. And this is what I call the surrealism of being a body.


Photo credit:

Leonor Von Salish

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