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Photo by Dante Fontana
Art is the magic of creation and invention,” Roseville artist Raphael Delgado explains.
He should know – freshly minted by a local arts and business organization as “Artist of the Year” – Delgado has gained a large regional presence with success both in the arts community and from a large number of local patrons who actively collect his work. Recently, in a celebration show for his arts award, Evolve The Gallery of historic Oak Park featured Raphael’s work in a solo show with a record-breaking 15 pieces sold on opening night. His prospects as a premiere Californian artist seem a foregone conclusion; most remarkable is his age, 29. National prominence is simply a matter of time. Magic indeed, Delgado is pure and natural talent.
As a boy, there was little doubt how Delgado’s future would blossom. At a time when his friends were learning to color, having trouble “staying in the lines,” he was studying his artist grandfather’s precise angular drawings as he learned to create in his own voice...prodigiously completing incredibly complex free-flowing works. Pre-teen, he found success selling his work after being influenced by his gallerist father. Delgado’s sister Veronica, a true force of nature and well known in the local art scene for her tireless advocacy advancing the arts, serves as his de-facto manager and publicist.
His formative years spent with the magic of a loving, supportive family created a humble, caring man with a million-dollar personality and a smile to match. He studied at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University, working his way through as an artist.
Delgado’s age belies an incredibly varied and prodigious body of work – figuratives in oil, abstracts in acrylic, wonders in watercolor, and epic chronological commissioned portraits portraying the subjects’ lifelong growth and maturity in charcoal. At Evolve the Gallery his work was so wonderfully varied that gallerists A. Michelle and Brady Blakeley were approached by patrons hearing, “It is difficult to believe that this is all one artist’s work!”
“His pieces absorb you,” Brady Blakeley continues, “each viewing is like taking a journey.” A. Michelle Blakeley adds, “If a patron is looking forward, this artist is someone you best keep your eyes on.”
Collector Sean Gruber says, “His work is thought provoking,” adding, “he has a playfulness and every time I look at his painting I see something new, almost like a new piece of art!” Delgado is “a good guy, he’s not pretentious and is incredibly approachable. He’s nothing like what you would expect of such a talented artist.” Gruber has seven of Delgado’s works and now considers him a friend. “The best part of this is my ability to help support him. I know he is going to be big!”
Delgado concludes, “I use art as a diary.” For him it is “...as natural as breathing...I am obsessed with the work; it is a compulsion to create.” No matter how draining or difficult, “in the end, art is therapy.”
For more information, visit artbyraphael.com.