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"Poema envasado al vacío", Rafael Maestro exhibition

Alicante 17 January 2017

Translated by María Navarro Martínez


"Poema envasado al vacío (vacuum-packed poem) is a way to ironise about art and twist it in order to unravel how culture affects society and how society deals with it. Everything that you can see in this exhibition could be true, and we would quickly see it as perfectly normal. 

Art, and culture as a whole, can sometimes be considered to be so dangerous that isolating it, vacuum-packing it so that it doesn't affect us is the best we can do. We can keep on worshipping it without really understanding it.

We chose a poem, contained it, and have vacuum-packed it. Now it is illegible, and even though we still have it, it is not going to affect us, for we have removed its influence on us. Nonetheless, this will produce a reaction on art itself, because art is not only a reflection of our society but also a wake-up-call for us".

Rafael Maestro.

Rafael Maestro (Madrid, 1963)
In 1965, Maestro and his family moved to the region of Alicante, and they lived in Confrides, Agost and Torrevieja. In the 1980s he established his workshop in San Lorenzo del Escorial (Madrid), where he stayed for six years, a time during which the movement known as "Movida Madrileña" peaked. He was in contact with many artists of the time such as Carmelo Juanis, Patricia Gadea and Paco Igeño, as well as with much older artists such as Palacios Tardez, Luis García Ochoa, Manolo Calvo, Manuel Viola and writer Manuel Andújar. In the 1990s he moved his workshop to Torrevieja and created "Grupo 2" with the now deceased painter Anselmo Mateo.



He was a lecturer at EU Horizon Programme in Spain and in the United Kingdom for two years. In the 1980s, he started showing his works in Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, but it is in this last country where, in recent years, he has held most of his exhibitions thanks to the support of Dutch art gallery Alicia Winters.

In Alicante, he had a close relationship with art gallery Casar, which is now closed. In 2012 the Elche Exhibition Centre held a retrospective exhibition that included one of his latest projects, "Hábitat Desnudo", a collaboration with Basque poet and architect Luis Felipe Estrada Muniozguren in which text and image are intertwined.

His work has been displayed in national and international art galleries, as well as in several museums such as the "Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo" and the "Museo Nacional de Antropología". He has also staged exhibitions in international fairs such as Berliner Liste, in Berlin.


VEU - Cultural Magazine of the University of Alicante

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