Rafael Ramirez began his career at the age of 12 working in the atelier of his father, the painter Antonio Máro. During this time he produced with him several ground-breaking works for exhibitions such as the famous La Biennale di Venezia. Together they also painted the largest painting in the world: an oil painting of 6 X 18 m in the City Hall of Mainerzhagen. Other exhibitions and festivals followed - in the City Hall of Hilden, in chapels in Salzburg, Austria and the Eifel, Germany. He studied Fine Arts at the Superior School of Painting, St. Luc of Lieja, Belgium, and with Rolf Koller and Schaffmeister at the Kunsthochschule Cologne, Germany. He also enrolled in studies in Art History, Philosophy and Literature, a background which led him to paint the big pictorical cycles in the RTWH, Aachen, Germany. In his work, Rafael Ramirez carried out portraits, nudes, abstract and sacred paintings (such as the Sta. lsabel exhibited in the entrance of the hospital of Sta. lsabel de Lima, in Peru). His repertoire includes not only original paintings, but also copies of the masters of the 17th Century in Vienna and Antwerp. He is a member of the "Fundación Arte y Autores Contemporáneos" in Chinchón, Madrid.
Rafael Ramírez by Fried Rubin
Rafael Ramirez was born in Lima, Peru, into a family of artists. At the age of 4 he received drawing and painting lessons from his father Antonio Maro, a well-known international painter. Through his extraordinary talent, Rafael Ramirez became his father’s official assistant at the age of 12. In this role he significantly contributed to the most important works of Antonio Maro that led to exhibitions’, including the Bienniale di Venezia and Sao Paolo, art fairs and exhibitions in major international museums, in churches, chapels, public buildings, and municipal halls.
This early experience, gave Rafael Ramirez, an insight into the significant impact that a painting can have when exhibited in public. The relationship with the public became an indispensable experience in his own artistic development. With 15 years he had his first individual exhibition in the gallery EP in Düsseldorf, Germany.
The mental and artistic development of Rafael Ramirez was also deeply influenced by his mother, a pianist and writer. She encouraged him to study piano and violin at the prestigious “Folkwangschule” in Essen and the “Robert Schumann Institute” in Düsseldorf, Germany. The love for music continues to shape his career as an artist. Rafael Ramirez complemented his studies in the Fine Arts, with courses in literature, philosophy musicology and art history at the Universities of Cologne and Aachen – Germany. He obtained a degree in Fine Arts through studies at the Art Academies in Belgium (Liege), Germany (Cologne, Düsseldorf) and Austria (Vienna). But, his deep love for classical paintings could not be met by the formal training in the Fine Arts. He obtained his training in the classics by directly studying the paintings of the masters in the great museums of the world, the El Prado Museum in Madrid, the Kunsthistorische Museum in Vienna, the Museum voor Schoone Kinst Antwerp. What followed was a period of 20 years during which Rafael Ramirez experimented with the use of the long-forgotten techniques of oil painting. This allowed him to re-develop painting approaches that had been lost during the past centuries. The combination of all these studies culminated in the development of his great cycles, that combine the topics of literature, music and world history.
Rafael Ramirez approaches these issues through the unique combination of the two main branches of painting: the abstract expressionism of his father, and the classical paintings of the old Masters. The drama of his paintings is achieved through his experience in the abstract art, and deepened in their psychological domain through his training in the classical mastery of a portraitist. This unique approach lead him to portray people like Michail Gorbatschov, former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, former German President von Weizsacker, Queen Silvia of Sweden, the famous German actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, the Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballe,as well as public celebrities as Miss Universe 2002, the current President of Unicef Oxana Federova or Waris Dirie.
Of particular significance was the creation of the Holocaust cycle. Not only the fact of having been raised in Germany motivated Rafael Ramirez to develop his “Holocaust” cycle, but also his thinking as a modern person in a global society who’s resposibility it is to keep such an infamous barbarity in memory in order to prevent this from happening ever again. For its atrocity, the Holocaust is the most representative symbol of the discrimination of humanity itself. Indeed, Rafael Ramirez believes that the conversion of the existing black and white photographs into mere historical documents represents a second deshumination of the victims. In his paintings he aims at restoring their human dignity through the life giving sensibility of the classical portrait approach. The viewer feels the contrast between the pulse of the precious life in the faces of victims and the cruelty of the barbed wire that is reflected in their vulnerable faces. His works reflect the long tradition of paintings of the Passion, the “Ecce Homo”, the martyrs, and the suffering of the innocent, an approach that has been used in many sacred paintings that are often created in the triptych form: the sacred symbol of the altar, which inspired both our compassion, and the love for the innocent victims.
The classical technique with its unique life-giving potential enables Ramirez to return the dignity of life to those black and white photographs that Ramirez considers as a second deshumunation by making it a mere document of the terror. is approaching this issue with the particular sensitivity of a fine portraitist, whose ability it is to give life a remarkable way the victims portrayed through the, he served as counter to the “second dehumanization” as he considers it in its type conversion in the documents historical, testimony to the barbarism of the Holocaust. In his paintings he intends to restore their human dignity through the life giving sensible more classic portrait. From this the black and which photos start to live. The viewer feels the pulse of the precious life in the faces of victims of cruelty of the wire assemblies in his paintings and you could see the vulnerable faces of these portraits. His works reflect the long tradition of paintings of the Passion, as the “Ecce Homo”, the martyrs, the suffering of the innocent and used in many paintings of the triptych form,
Pinakothek der Moderne - Munich / Germany Mittelrhein-Museum - Koblenz / Germany Galeria d´arte la Pigna - Vaticano Aula Carolina - Aachen / Germany Museo Monasterio de San Martiño Pinar - Santiago de Compostela / Spain Centro Cultural Moncloa - Madrid/Spain Museum Zinkhütterhof - Stolberg / Germany Centrum voor Kunst en Cultuur de Kopermolen - Vaals / Netherlands Hotel Ritz Carlton - Berlin / Germany Hotel National - Moscú / Rusia Kunsthof - Berlin / Germany Ateneo San Basso - Venice / Italy Kur Art Galery - San Sebastián / Spain Galerie Radicke - Sankt Augustin, Bonn / Germany Sínt Egidíusgemeenschap - Antwerpen / Belgium Galerie Noorderlicht - Domburg / Netherland Duingalerie - Domburg / Netherland Galerie Persterer - Zürich / Switzerland Kloster Knechtsteden - Dormhagen / Germany Sala Amárica Vitoria - Gastei / Spain Echernach Festival - Echternach / Luxemburg Saint-Apolloniakerk - Elst-Brakel / Belgium Cathedral - Echternach / Luxemburg
Mittelrhein-Museum - Koblenz/Germany | Aula Carolina - Aachen/Germany | Kloster Rolduc - Kerkrade/Netherland | Steinweg Galerie - Stolberg/Germany | Red Point Galerie - Jülich/Germany | Galerie Persterer - Zürich/Switzerland | Galerie Il quadro -Aachen/Germany | Alte Abtei Prüm/Germany | Galerie Noorderlicht / Duingalerie Domburg/Netherland | Schloss Vaalsbruck Vaals/Netherland | Kriya-Zentrum Sterksel/Netherland | Kulturstätte Monschau "Weisses Pferdchen" Monschau/Germany | Schloss Burgau Düren/Germany | Quellenhof Aachen/Germany
Pinakothek der Moderne - München/Germany | Museum Zinkhütterhof - Stolberg/Germany | Galerie Ipomal - Landgraf/Netherland | Kloster Rolduc - Kerkrade/Netherland | Aula Carolina - Aachen/Germany | Klosterbasilika-Knechtsteden Dormagen/Germany | Hotel National Moscú/Rusia | Alte Abtei Prüm/Germany | Galerie-Atelier I. Sauren - Welkenrath/Belgium | Art Hotel Superior Aachen/Germany | Gut Rosenberg Horst/Germany
Ritz Carlton Berlin/Germany | Galerie Radicke Sankt Augustin/Germany | Enwor Galerie Herzogenrath/Germany | Kloster Rolduc - Kerkrade/Netherland | Quellenhof Aachen/Germany | CHIO Aachen/Germany | Schloss Vaalsbruck Vaals/Netherland | Zinkhütterhof- Museum - Stolberg/Germany | Kloster Knechtsteden - Dormhagen/Germany | Ritz Carlton Berlin/Germany | Sala Amárica Vitoria-Gasteiz/Spain | St Fronleichnam - Aachen/Germany
Galerie Il quadro Aachen/Germany | Galerie Persterer Zürich/Switzerland | Kloster Hornbach Germany | Klosterbasilika-Knechtsteden Dormagen Centrum voor Kunst en Cultuur de Kopermolen Echernach Festival Echternach/Luxemburg Saint-Apolloniakerk Elst-Brakel Belgium | Galeria d´arte la Pigna Vaticano | Galerie Kunstwerk - Heimbach/Germany | Eifel St. Clernenskirche Heimbach/Eifel 108° Version
Galleria d'Arte la Pigna Vatikan | Städtische Galerie Mennoitenkirche, Neuwied Kapellen in Buchet und Kaufspesch, Eifel Stadt Galerie Koln/Porz, St Josef Kirche -Köln
Lukaskirche Köln | Fundación Arte y Autores Contemporaneos ARAUCO Chinchón-Madrid/Spain | EVBK Prüm/Germany | Galeria Ana Samarán Madrid/Spain | Galeria Anzorena - Madrid/Spain
Museo Monasterio de San Martiño Pinar - Santiago de Compostela / Spain | Kur Art Galery San Sebastián/Spain | Centro Cultural Moncloa Madrid/Spain | Fundación Arte y Autores Contemporaneos ARAUCO Chinchón-Madrid/Spain
2008 © Rafael Ramírez Máro