Today’s Solutions: June 01, 2023

Similar to Australian naturalist and Entrepreneur Jay Harman, Venezuelan artist Rafael Araujo sees spirals everywhere. But where Harman took the spirals and used them to inspire engineering designs, Araujo saw the spirals and used them to make incredibly intricate, and beautiful pieces of art by hand. Araujo took some time to answer a few questions about his artwork, process, and inspiration.
What do you use to create your art? What medium?
“After much work on paper with pencil, I finally did the jump to canvas and ink. I do traditional technical drawing, with compass and ruler, as architects did before CAD (computer aided design) appeared. Ink on canvas doesn’t allow you much chance to correct your mistakes. For colors, I always use acrylic, which is a very versatile a medium.”
How long does it take you to make each piece?
“I used to expend several hours calculating each work. Of course it’s directly related to the complexity of the subject […] at the very least 80 hours, and easily 2 or 300 hours with colors.”
Butterflies 620
There seems to be quite an element of science in your work. Was this intentional?
“There you should be defining what art or science is. The beauty of a sequence of butterflies flying into a very specific helix pattern is they need firm structural support, you know  what it takes to be done, and you can´t hesitate with the geometry involved, it’s all interrelated. They´re not necessarily antagonistic, or different entities, just means to achieve something. Beauty and science together. Likewise happens in music. A Bach´s fugue could be unfathomably complex and unbelievably, utterly beautiful, almost beyond what we consider just human.”
What inspired you to make the work?
“My inspiration comes directly from nature. I have been watching spirals everywhere since I can remember. If you follow the growing patterns of leaves in plants, a sunflower, shells, DNA, galaxies, they´re wherever you look. [It is] kind of a fascination [of mine] in the fact that you can “calculate” it. For example, with shells, they’re astonishingly easy to calculate accurately with simple geometrical relations, with squares and a compass, not much math at all.”
The Calculo (spiral design) pieces are quite different than the Paisajistic (above) pieces. Are your works usually so different?
“Always nature. Different approach, same theme. I paint both with acrylic and canvas, but landscapes aren’t calculated. There I use “atmospheric” perspective, done with colors instead of lines. In landscape painting I try to grasp the feeling of infinitude, with huge and dynamic skies, the awe we all feel when confronted with the vastness of the sea, or a plain without limits.”
Where can people see your works, are they in a studio?
“Until now, I’ve been a private artist. I´ll have more exposure in social media and will be showing my work in my site:
Where can people purchase your works?
“All can be purchased online. I´ll have prints of my work available soon through my site. I also accept commissions.”
All pictures courtesy of Rafal Araujo
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