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Focus On: Rafa Macarrón

Miami— January 5, 2022— Rafa Macarrón (Madrid, b. 1981) is a young self-taught artist who has gained acclaim for his dreamlike scenes. His paintings are characterized by striking chromaticism and a world of uncanny characters. Macarrón plays with formats and scales to transgress reality and invent cosmic-like spaces that relate to his characters. Despite the unusualness of these environments, his defined style and language holistically embody harmony and tenderness.

The presence of Macarrón’s otherworldly figures are sure to be one of the most distinctive elements within his style. These unique elongated creatures present enlarged heads and threadlike extremities. They are born from a fantastic, surreal, and expressionist figuration. What most people don’t know is that they display knowledge and respect for anatomy. According to Macarrón: “I know the structure of the body perfectly. Then, I begin to try out distortions and deformations, which work very well…each with their own soul and personality.”  With flat backgrounds and vibrant colors, he manages to enhance the figures, and thus give more prominence to the character.  These hybrid forms are inspired by important historical figures such as Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), Alfonso Fraile (1930-1988), and Bonifacio Alfonso (b.  1934). Additionally, his work has been deeply influenced by Spanish paintings such as El Paso Group (1957-1960) in Madrid, and the New Figuration, Neo-Expressionism, or otherwise called the American Figurative Expressionist movements. 

Macarrón was listed in Sobethy’s “Rising Stars of Contemporary Art” in 2021. A stellar line-up of artists notable not only for its diversity but also for the selection of “emerging era-defining artists of today”.  He was featured as one of the 15 artists to set records at Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary Art Sales in Hong Kong, 2021.  His work Rutina Fluor (2019), a prime example from his widely acclaimed Fluorescent Routine series and the second work ever to be offered at auction, sold for a staggering record price of HK $4.3m (US $550,280), more than six times its high estimate and the artist’s first appearance at auction in Asia.

In 2021, the artist was the subject of two milestone exhibitions; “Fifteen” at the Contemporary Art Center (CAC) of Malaga, which featured 15 works in a variety of media including canvas, sculpture, and drawings; and “El Bañista” at the Fundación La Nave Salinas in Ibiza, highlighting the artist’s brilliant figurative paintings, portraits, landscapes, and everyday scenes.  He has been previously honored with the 2010 BMW Painting Awards and numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world, including at the Universidad de Puebla, Mexico; Museo DA2, Salamanca; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Alicante; and the Allouche Gallery, New York, Macarrón is emerging as one of the contemporary artists of greater scope, an exciting new artist to watch. 

For more information on Rafa Macarrón and available works email

Photo: Rafa Macarrón inside his studio. Courtesy of Street Art News.