RAFAEL CONSUEGRA Sculptor
As many well known artist that came before him, such as Picasso, Monet, and Vangogh just to name a few, where you see changes in their styles or subject matter. So too did Consuegra's art evolve in terms of his chosen media, and style. Essentialing leaving us with three "periods" that were inspired by the current events in Consuegra's life. As you study Consuegra's extensive body of work one will notice his earliest works or "period" where he uses mostly ceramic to create abstract organic pieces that are undoubtedly inspired by the works of the famous Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi. In the early 1970's Consuegra established his studio and lived in Barcelona, Spain. The heart of Antoni Gaudi's works. After 8 years of living and exhibiting throughout Europe, Consuegra returned to the United States and again established himself in Miami, FL. During the 80's in Miami, the narcotraffickers from Colombia were using miami as their playground and battle ground. The infamous Mutiny club and TV show "Miami Vice" depicted a time of depersonalized excess where debauchery and murder controlled almost every corner of the city. During this time, Consuegra's work morphed into bright, geometric, metal sculptures that portray a synthesis of movement and architectural equilibrium. You see his work turning into hard edges and poignant shapes depicting the dynamics of this time period. During these years, not only was Miami experiencing its narco war but so too was the United States as it navigated the end of a 45 year cold war with Russia. Although he had briefly experimented with his "figurative" style many years prior, it was not until 1991 where he pivots into his iconic figurative work that you find at the end of his illustrious career. Consuegra found himself in Petrosavask, Russia in early 1991 where he was commisioned to represent the United States and build a monumental sculpture. The sculpture depicts two men (one American and one Russian) helping each other cast a net into lake Onega. Consuegra finalized the sculpture just a few months before the fall of the Soviet Union in December 1991. From this point on, Consuegra's work takes on contemporary figurative forms which no longer leave the viewer guessing as to the meaning of his previous abstract work. It is during this late stage in Consuegra's career where he seeks to communicate his beliefs, hopes and dreams with the world. At this time, he chooses to work with connected (linked) linear stainless steel pieces to create most of his figurative sculptures. Simultaneously, in 1993 you find the begining of the internet age, where information is "linked" and more popularly known as the "World Wide Web". Consuegra mirrors this era in the many "web like" features found in his figurative works. Consuegra intended to work as long as his hands allowed him to create. He accomplished this as he passed away suddenly on his 80th birthday from a heart attack in a hospital on Miami Beach.
“All of my sculptures are inspired by movement and balance."