Rafa Ferre is the face behind many sculptures and monuments around the world. He has designed sculptures in Mexico, Germany, Spain, and Belgium in many public spaces and parks. Destination Luxury had a chance to catch up with the artist.
Destination Luxury: Can you tell us how you started your career?
Rafa Ferre: I was attracted to art since I was young. There were many art pieces from well-known artists like J. Romero de Torres, P.P. Rubens, A. Rodin, C. Camilloni and J.M. Malanca where I was raised; however it wasn’t after developing my career as an engineer and starting my own company and eventually, a family, that I started looking to new motivations. I began to take myself more seriously as an artist at the age of 55. I had a few advantages at that point. I was used to metalworking and welding, and I had the capital at my disposal and the best materials available at my engineering company to test out new art projects. Traveling around the world also helped me study and interact with different artists. I discovered my own identity which allowed me to be unique.
A two meter sculpture designed by Rafa Ferre.
Destination Luxury: What (or who) inspired you to create art?
Ferre: I was inspired by my mom’s personality and strength, the places where I have lived and traveled and I believe art is innate in all of us. The important thing is to decide that you want to develop it.
Destination Luxury: Who is your favorite artist and why?
Ferre: I cannot say I have only one favorite artist, but I do particularly admire Michelangelo, Pablo Picasso and the contemporary, Faustino Aizkorbe. Michelangelo has an incomparable influence on the development of Western art, transmitting the purity of super realistic sculptures and at the same time, his versatility in his work was conveyed through paintings, sculptures and architecture. Pablo Picasso was at the forefront on the revolution of modern art, developing an abstract style that reflected the modern age. Last but not least, Faustino Aizkorbe is a favorite for his sculptors that work well with different materials like marble, wood and steel. He has pieces of art I find intriguing and seductive.
Destination Luxury: What’s the toughest thing you’ve had to overcome as an artist?
Ferre: Becoming well-known and having a market position is a hard thing to do. I had to find an unconventional path to shorten the way.
Destination Luxury: What project makes you proud?
Ferre: The last project I’m working on always tends to make me the most proud. Currently, I am finishing a sculpture called Manhattan, in honor of all the victims of 9/11. While building it, I could not stop thinking and feeling the horror and terrible experience of the 3,000 individuals who fell victim to such an atrocity. I believe in the great spirit of survival and I am hoping that my work could transmit hope and peace. Manhattan is intended to be a tribute for all the victims and heroes involved in this terrible act of terrorism.
Destination Luxury: What are three pieces of wisdom you’d like to share from your personal experience for artists trying to become masters of their craft like you?
Ferre: First of all, I would say ‘take life easy.’ It is a long ride. Do not lose your time in anything that it is not worth pursuing and always have a clear vision for where and when you want to go. Life is full of good moments, so remember your past, live in your present and plan for your future.
Secondly, always express your ideas so inspiration can blossom. Great things can come out from all of us if we express what’s inside of us.
Lastly, be aware of what you are doing. Constantly remember we are not going to live forever so have one part of yourself on ground while you trace your passage. Our work will stay as a heritage so others will see our lives through our work; try to be proud of it. We are not immortal, so live and experience as much as you can in this short path called life.
Destination Luxury: When did you know this was your specialty? Was there a particular moment of epiphany when you were young?
Ferre: During my youth, I worked in metallurgy, welding and manufacturing of different machines. However, after turning 50 my sensitivity made me realize I could transmit my knowledge, experience and bring happiness to all those sharing my art and work.
Destination Luxury: What project are you most excited about now and why?
Ferre: As mentioned, my latest project is usually the one that keeps me most excited. I keep my passion on it until completed. Then I focus my energy on other projects. I continuously concentrate on one piece, put all my soul and energy into it. The feeling is like being pregnant, you beget and then you are at a point of giving life. That it is the time to hold your work, give everything to it and then let it go so others can appreciate it. New projects and experiences come by if you are open to them. I believe a good piece of art is the one that when you look at it, you get a sensational feeling, and that’s when it’s the perfect moment to release your work. For instance, this is how I would describe working on Manhattan.
I consider art extraordinary. When people see their work and feel a storm inside, that’s when you come alive. If you can motivate them, blow their minds then you have succeeded.
You may check out Rafa’s work on his website: www.arteinoxidable.com