Rafael Van Streepen
As we sat down ready to begin a conversation about his practice, Rafael chose to initially talk about what art has always been for him. Coming from an academic background in Economics, Rafael soon felt the urge of exploring his approach to life through his own actions, finding in the artistic one an essential technique. At the age of 21, he opened a gallery space in Amsterdam, where artists could be supported in their journey. In those years he was himself helped to produce more artwork by his good friend Noah Lamp, an artist with a deepened academic art education which stimulated Rafael to explore his own artistic workflow. This was a turning point in Rafael’s life. As he had to interrupt the gallery in Amsterdam, he went back to New York to his mother where he continued following his artistic research.
When asked about his paintings, Rafael stands out the importance of the playful path an artist has to carry on with. In his opinion, the artistic workflow is used as a metaphor to search inside oneself and to explore any boundaries without judgment.
His work appears as abstract as a raw emotion, where colors are twisted into shapes to recall the human feeling of searching and exploring for something energetic. Rafael indeed sees colors as powerful tools to experiment with, with the same innocence as a child would do. This is to him an attempt to revoke that pure self one will forget of while moving forward in the journey into life.
As a young and sensitive man, Rafael aims to support the contemporary art world by encouraging artists in their production, the main reason why he sees st-Art as a valid evolving point for his own personal path.