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Robert Raphael
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Greenpoint



ARTIST STATEMENT: The decorative is often seen as superficial, but I believe in its power to seduce us into greater depths. Anyone can reflect upon the decorative arts, whether experienced through the mediums of architecture, furniture, wallpaper, or manicured gardens. My sculptural works draw on the history of decorative art and how it is perceived. My use of the decorative becomes the code for my language of desire, sexuality, gender, and pleasure. In my most recent works, I am constructing structures and wall elements out of lumber, a traditional material for building. The sculptures refer to architecture and construction, but are imbued with elements and processes that incorporate the decorative. I create ornate visual surfaces using materials such as porcelain, ribbon, wood, and paint. Within the work, I am creating a dialogue between the viewer’s understanding of structure and ornament: masculine and feminine. The viewer is confronted with the formal language of sculpture, while the ornament and pattern are experienced pervasively. My sculptures provide a forum for the viewer to use their understanding of my materials and processes to make associative connections.
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