About the artist
Raúl Lara Naranjo
I grew up in Morón de la Frontera, a town in the province of Seville, southern Spain. My first steps as a painter began when I was a child and I already felt a great interest and curiosity for painting. At the age of 9 I took classes in an art academy and I was initiated in the technique of oil painting and made numerous traditional paintings such as still lifes, seascapes, landscapes, etc. for family and friends, but when I reached adolescence, the few opportunities that existed in my town to develop professionally as an artist made me believe that living from art was impossible, and I ended up working in the family business of building materials, which made me stop painting.
At the age of 24 I met my wife and she made me realize that I was wasting my talent. She managed to motivate me and convince me to take up painting as a hobby and for several years I was painting at times after work, but I felt different, I had evolved and traditional painting no longer satisfied me as before and I began to investigate new techniques.
From that moment on, much of my artistic training was self-taught, but I also took numerous courses, workshops, etc., with which I acquired a broad training and mastery of various techniques such as graphite, charcoal, pastels, oils, acrylics, inks, and it was when I started to use mixed techniques and image transfers. At that time my wife served as my inspiration and muse and I began to paint her. The naked body of the woman represents purity, from where life is born and through it I found the way to represent the interior of people, their feelings and emotions.
One day I received the surprise of a gallery in New York that recognized my talent and was interested in representing me, what I did not know is that they knew my work thanks to my wife, who entered me unknowingly to an art contest organized by the gallery. I will never have enough words of thanks for her. A few months later I was having my first exhibition, I was 32 years old and it took place in Manhattan, until then I had never exhibited my work in public.
Shortly after that recognition began to arrive, my first sales and proposals from several galleries, but I was still working in the family business and painting at night. I remember that for a while I hardly slept, until one day, supported once again by my wife, I quit my job to dedicate myself exclusively to painting.
And that’s when my current technique came to the surface. I had the need to break with the traditional and explore to do something innovative and unknown and that led me to create the photo-realism, mixed technique with image transfer that I currently use. My painting, although I look for it to be visually powerful, is not only based on a merely decorative aesthetic, but on something that resonates with the interior of each person, with their stages of overcoming or with their internal conflicts, something in which everyone can see themselves represented. My painting speaks of the diversity of masks that we carry about us, of how to be oneself while being many different people at the same time, of what we believe we are but that constantly varies, of what we show that we are against what we often carry inside us.
Popularly it is said that we are constructions of our environment and that we adapt to it according to the circumstances, but as for example in my case, sometimes we are able to overcome those circumstances and bring out the other me that we carry inside, which in my case was the artist and go from being that person with that traditional life that worked in his family business to be the person I am today.
Today, my technique has managed to differentiate me for being something new and has brought me success and recognition. I have exhibited in art galleries in cities as important as London, Paris and New York. I have participated in art fairs. My work has been chosen by several publishers for book covers and has been featured in various art publications. At present, my work is in private collections in Europe, America and Oceania.
My recent work delves into the inherent duality of human nature, exploring the coexistence of light and darkness within each and every one of us. As a visual artist, I am fascinated by the complexity of human emotions and the fragile nature of our existence, and I seek to capture these elements in my paintings.
Using a combination of image transfer techniques and mixed media elements, I strive to onvey a rawness and vulnerability in my work. Through the use of these techniques, I aim to create a sense of depth and texture that mirrors the complexity of the human experience.
I believe that we are all broken in some way, carrying with us the scars and wounds of our past experiences. However, it is precisely in this brokenness that we find our strength and resilience. By transferring images onto the canvas, I seek to represent the way in which our experiences and memories are imprinted on us, shaping who we are and who we become.
Through my work, I hope to evoke a sense of empathy and understanding in others, and to encourage them to explore the hidden depths of their own inner selves. My hope as an artist is to connect with viewers on a deep, emotional level, inviting them to contemplate the complexity of the human spirit and find solace in the knowledge that we are all in this together, navigating the challenges of life one day at a time.
2012 Portals of Perception Agora Gallery 530 West 25th Street New York, NY (USA)
2013 Elements of Abstractition Agora Gallery 530 West 25th Street New York, NY (USA)
2013 Actúa Sevilla Plaza de la Encarnación s/n Sevilla (Spain)
2014 Selected artist in International Art Fair Roma Romart 2015 (Italy)
2015 Selected artist in International Art Fair Barcelona Artbaho 2015 (Spain)
2016 VEDO Corporate Art Exhibition London (UK)
2017 Gallery Different, 14 Percy Street London (UK)
2019 Return of Art London ( Online Exhibition )
2019 Versatile Art Lisbon (Portugal)
2019 Galerie Montmartre 11, Place Du Tertre Paris (France)
2019 START Art fair Saatchi Gallery London (UK)
2020 Range of Arts Gallery 7 Rue des Capucins, Honfleur, (France )
2020 Eclectic Gallery 16 Newman Street W1T 1PB Fitzrovia, London (UK)
2020 Online Affordable Art Fair represented by Eclectic Gallery London (UK)
2020 Affordable Art Fair Battersea represented by Eclectic Gallery London (UK)
2021 June Eclectic Gallery 16 Newman Street W1T 1PB Fitzrovia, London (UK)
2021 October Eclectic Gallery 16 Newman Street W1T 1PB Fitzrovia, London (UK)
Artisspectrum Magazine Volume 29
Saatchi Art Fall Catalog Second Edition October 2019
Saatchi Art Fall Catalog September 2019
Saatchi Art Spring Catalog May 2019
Editorial Planeta 2019 «Elegía para un Americano» Siri Hustvedt
Syrtari Books 2020 «Ταυτοπροσωπίες» Βιργινία Παπατρέχα
Rowohlt Verlag 2020 «Es ist immer so schön mit dir» Heinz Strunk
Rising art Stars
Talleres Piolas (Podcast)
Representation and Collaborations 2021
Works on private collections in Europe, America and Oceania