These photographs and videos are part of a ongoing series on body movement. I'm interested in the ways that we consciously and unconsciously present our bodies in front of others. Every movement we make is a product of our minds and the story of our life. The transference of motion that is documented from one photo to the next gives me a chance to see this presentation of the self. It is constantly arriving somewhere and moving forward.
Don't mine me! I'm just passing through. This will all be yours. Look at me move. I'm leaving.
Press Release from Adobe Books:
Raphael Villet is an artist who no longer calls San Francisco home. He lives and works in the Lower Bottoms of West Oakland. This Friday he will represent Adobe Books at the "art and performance spectacle" in the once beautifully sleepy Dogpatch neighborhood. Come out for some "grassroots ethos" that "taps into the heart of San Francisco's culture." Raphael will be exhibiting his photographs in a setting of "minimal restriction of space, economics, or arbitrary rules." Yes we are talking about Artbeats 2014. An "intimate cultural gathering" that "emerged from deep roots in the arts and music world."
"The beautifully derelict Pier 70 in San Francisco will be transformed" "The beautifully derelict Pier 70 in San Francisco will be transformed" "The beautifully derelict Pier 70 in San Francisco will be transformed" "The beautifully derelict Pier 70 in San Francisco will be transformed"
With Gabriel Ramirez
About the Exhibition:
My work presented here at Forthrite Gallery explores how I am relating to people through photography and the internet. I will start with the phrase: look at me. I am beginning to accept that, as an artist, that is often what I am saying online and off. Look at me. The photos say this. Look at me. sharing my work on social media says this. The flags in this series explore what it's like for me to create and promote an artist identity on the internet. Sharing artistic production through social media means engaging with the typical forms of communication within that community. In the context of facebook, that is mostly comprised of condensed phrases that carry an ambiguous sheen. The words on the flags are pulled from comments left under fb posts that I and other artists have created as we promote our artwork. In reality, these comments act as short form solidarity, of recognition of content shared.
Whether or not we identify as artists, we all share content and we all say look at me. We all receive solidarity and acknowledgement online and this series asks the viewer to consider the ways in which they communicate this solidarity. Are they following a script? too rushed? nervous about expanding their comments? bored by the content? As I continue to promote the brand that is me the artist I am exploring the reality of this situation and the humor and emptiness of most online communication. The idea that, as artists, we must accept the current state of online communication that online sharing facilitates. Solidarity and recognition towards everyone have taken the form of drive-by exclamations: condensed snippets of meaning. It is both sad and funny and still a very human experience for me. These words remain loaded and are full of expression, however, they also appear in little empty white boxes. It is unclear where they are coming from and where they are going.
I'm changing in that I'm beginning to create a context for why I am attracted to photographing everyone around me. In the simplest of ways, I see that everyone wants. We are instilled with and create desires, needs and aspirations. That is mysterious and beautiful to me. Knowing this helps me building compassion for other people. I want just like everyone else. These film photographs of other people represent a want that I have. They are my way of saying look at me, of iterating whats often like to be a self promoting artist. I throw myself out there with the goal of sharing my artwork and sometimes end up feeling like a magician, a brand ambassador, a pusher, wild and sometimes completely out of my element.