Arnaldo Roche Rabell - Latin America New York Tuesday, November 22, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Walter Otero Contemporary Art, San Juan
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    After studying in his native Puerto Rico and later in Chicago, Arnaldo Roche Rabell developed a unique style by applying of layers of bright colors, covered in black, which he would cut through with a pallet knife for a dramatic effect. Using a tactical approach, the artist often drapes canvas fabric over a model or a figure and then imprints the contour of the figure using frottage, resulting in highly complex images. Through his work, Roche Rabell explores dual issues that affect him personally, such as identity and belonging, as well as the more universal concept of victim versus victor. The present lot, High Tide (2010), is a complex and dynamic work that belongs to an important series of blue paintings by the artist. These pieces tend to desacralize myths and transform them into an everyday narrative. His intentional choice of a deep cobalt blue seeks to simplify his art and aesthetic, suggesting unity and equality, while detaching his work from an overly ornamental style. Blue also is symbolic of Roche Rabell’s Puerto Rican heritage, life on the island, and his conception of the sea as an overpowering, almost prison like place.


High Tide

signed and dated "Roche 2010" upper right
oil on canvas
72 1/4 x 72 1/8 in. (183.5 x 183.2 cm)
Painted in 2010.

$50,000 - 70,000 

Contact Specialist
Kaeli Deane
Head of Sale, Latin American Art
New York
+1 212 940 1352

Latin America

New York Auction 22 November 2016