Talking with Rafael Domenech
1- You are a young artist who has managed to capture the attention (to a large extent) of various collectors, curators, art spaces, and galleries. In past interviews you have referred to your work as “a work that begins with the act of discovery and continues to transform the perceptual experience” . What formal, conceptual and circumstantial elements promote and self-define your visual discourse?
In general, my work is the result of investigations and experiments that start from very specific moments like the reaction to a book, moment, experience or space. Form literature is integral to my creative process. I consider it to be the most creative art form there is.
Right now I don’t feel attached to a particular visual language, form or aesthetic formula. I believe that the visual language of an artist must be tied to a constant exploration of change. I seek that the ideas define and transform the form and that in turn the visual result is an organic development that evolves and becomes more complex as time progresses.
Ideas like pollution, surplus, systems, and French materialism are some of the forces that govern my most recent research.
2- Beside from suggesting sensory perceptions with your work, what other intentions or searches are established between the creation process, the completion and the public?
I am not necessarily interested in having an observer understand an idea directly, since I am not trying to illustrate a topic or make a visual puzzle. I am interested in a work that denotes a complexity of thought, that reflects the construction process from ideas to matter, and that shows a connection between the context in which it is produced and the work.
3- Last year you were one of the Cuban artists selected and / or represented by the Fredric Snitzer gallery in Miami Art Basel, one of the most important fairs for contemporary art that is held every year welcoming various galleries and visitors from different parts of the world. Will you also be participating this year in Miami Art Basel, represented by a specific gallery? What type of works will you be exhibiting?
This year I will be showing again at Art Basel with the Fredric Snitzer gallery, the space I work with in Miami. Fredric and I made a selection from a group of works composed of sculptures and collages, which represent my most recent research state.
4- The positioning of Cuban art within the contemporary market has gradually increased. Do you think Miami Art Basel influences the (re) disposition of the commercial nature that could be attributed to a work, influencing its promotion in the environment where it is developed?
Art Basel in Miami is one of the most important fairs in the United States and in the world in general. Undoubtedly, the impact of participating in a fair like this is of an extensive magnitude not only in a work itself but in an entire career. I believe that the commercial nature of a work is subject to change by factors such as: consistency and solidity in ideas and in the development of the work, the context, the whim of collectors, the momentary fetishes and clichés that are in fashion, etc.
5- How would you define the experience, perception and dialogue between the public and Cuban art in Miami Art Basel and in other spaces such as Scope and Miami Art, to name a few.
I really don’t think I am qualified to give you an accurate answer on the subject. As an artist I don’t pay much attention to what happens during fairs. I think that all these events provide a space for artists to develop and exhibit their work, although in the same way, I think it should always be borne in mind that fairs only represent the art market at the time.
6- Recently, an interview by Marilyn Payrol (art historian) with Juan Delgado Calzadilla (independent curator and creator of Cuban Art Project) was published on the Art OnCuba blog, entitled Juanito thinks un Art Basel Habana, which culminates with the following idea: “If we are capable of organizing a Havana Biennial, why won’t we be able to organize an art fair. If you had to share the stage in Havana again with other Cuban artists of your generation in an exhibition. These names would be…
That would be subject to change and extensive dialogue with other artists.
7- The year 2016 is nearing ending. What projects, exhibitions or events will be your work for next year?
This year has been intense. I have just finished two personal exhibitions, and a collective one where I had the role of curator. I am currently working on a large scale project for a public area in a new tower in Hallandale. The next year I have been invited to several group shows, mostly in the United States and I have a series of residencies where I have been invited. The Fredric Snitzer gallery will be participating in the Armory Show with the space dedicated to my work.
 Batet, Janet. In Conversation with Rafael Domenech. The artist talks about his recent show in Miami. Published at http://www.cubanartnews.org/es/news/in-conversation-rafael-domenech/4114
Miami, November, 2016