Rafa Macarrón - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Wednesday, May 18, 2022 | Phillips
  • "Everything is centered around the wonder and amazement that can be found within daily life…I am interested in all of my characters being unique and alive. They each have their own souls."
    —Rafa Macarrón

    Executed in 2018, Rafa Macarrón’s La Perrera is a luminous example of the artist’s dreamscapes that have bolstered him to international acclaim. Oscillating between reality and imagination, this large-scale composition showcases the striking chromaticism and uncanny characters for which the rising Madrid-born artist is best known. Here, his iconic hybrid-dog figures appear to float alongside ladders in a celestial realm of neon hues, embodying his propensity for transforming the everyday into monumental transcendence. 


    [left] Francisco Goya, The Drowning Dog, 1820-1823. Museo del Prado, Madrid. Image: Museo Nacional del Prado / Art Resource, NY [right] Jean Dubuffet, Six Fish and Bird, 1943. Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Image: Tel Aviv Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY, Artwork: © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

    Drawing inspiration from such canonical masters as Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet, and Francisco Goya, Macarrón’s compositions channel the unbound visual expression of Surrealism and the childlike imagery of Art Brut. “I have a very direct relationship with Spanish painting, I have practically grown up in the Prado Museum…[and] Goya’s black paintings have always moved me,” he recently explained. “[My characters] are born from a fantastic, surreal, and expressionist figuration. I consider them hybrid characters that are closely related to my admiration for Dubuffet, [Manuel] Bonifacio, and Alfonso Fraile.”i In La Perrera, Macarrón conjures a remarkable fusion of his noted influences—namely Goya’s The Drowning Dog and Dubuffet’s Six Fish and Bird—as well as his Spanish predecessor Joan Miró, whose symbolic ladders function as dreams of escape.


    Joan Miró, Dog Barking at the Moon, 1926. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Image: The Philadelphia Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY, Artwork: © 2022 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

    Macarrón devoted himself to his painterly practice in 2006, finding liberation as a self-taught artist to directly apply his personal experiences and unique sensibility onto the canvas. Recalling his formative visit to the Musée Picasso as a child, he expressed in a recent interview, “When I entered one of the rooms I asked for a notebook and colored pencils. I spent the whole morning trying to understand what was in front of me.”ii Though nodding to his Modernist forerunner as critics have frequently observed, Macarrón’s compositions are inventions of his own practice. “I have always liked to transgress reality and invent like-cosmic spaces that relate to the characters,” he revealed. “My painting has expressionist features for the immediacy, the stroke is direct, even though I do a lot of sketch work and previous study.”iii For Macarrón, the heart of his process and creations lies in the unhindered freedom of expression, which manifests in his dazzling use of color to build his dreamlike atmospheres. In La Perrera, Macarrón elevates contemporary life into mystic worlds crafted from his spirited imagination.


    Collector’s Digest


    • Macarrón’s work has been exhibited around the world and the subject of two major exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Center of Malaga and the Fundación La Nave Salinas in Ibiza in 2021. On the heels of these achievements, Macarrón continues to cement his place on the global art scene with his first solo show at Nino Mier, Los Angeles earlier this year.


    • La Perrera comes to auction following Macarrón’s recent Phillips Evening Sale debut this past March in London, when Balcones achieved £126,000 ($167,843).


    i Rafa Macarrón, quoted in Rom Levy, “Artist Interview: Rafa Macarrón,” Street Art News, October 26, 2021, online.
    ii Ibid.
    iii Ibid.

    • Provenance

      Private Collection, Madrid (acquired directly from the artist)
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


La Perrera

signed with the artist's initials and dated "Rm 18" lower right
mixed media on canvas
89 x 55 1/4 in. (226.1 x 140.3 cm)
Executed in 2018.

Full Cataloguing

$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $378,000

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20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 18 May 2022