Rafa Macarrón

Abstracted cosmic figures with poignant lyricism.

Rafa Macarrón (he him) was born in 1981 in Madrid, Spain where he continues to live and work.

Did you know?

In Macarrón’s work, colourful, varnished nails pop up as a theme. When he was 5 years old, he was taken to Montparnasse in Paris where he was inspired by the women he saw there. The nails have featured in his work ever since.

At Auction

Rutina Fluor (2019) was purchased for HK $4.3m (US $550,280) at Sotheby’s HK 2021 Modern and Contemporary Art Sale – more than 6 times the painting's upper estimate.

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Collaborations with Rafa Macarrón

Avant Arte and Rafa Macarrón have one upcoming collaboration.

Practice overview

Rafa Macarrón paints abstract figures in daily acts of tender comedy. A former physiotherapist, he uses his anatomical knowledge to create exaggerated body shapes. Their giant, cubist hands and feet disrupt perspective and float in unstructured space. Some paintings show stark singular portraits. Others show colourful crowded panoramas – with figures congregating at bus stops or beaches. Macarrón’s process is led by intuition and experimentation with a range of materials. Acrylic, gouache and oils are the main base. Pencils and markers define figures. Aerosol sprays, aluminium and PVC bring texture and dynamism. The artist also translates his biomorpic personalities into drawing and sculpture.

Macarrón is “very proud to be part of the Spanish painting tradition.” He’s inspired by artists who explore tensions between format, scale and colour. In particular, Joan Miro and the El Paso Madrid group. He also references the French painter Jean Dubuffet, New Figuration and Abstract Expressionism. Together, these rich legacies evolve further in Macarrón's work. Through the bright remix of materials and style, he refreshes and builds on the past. As the artist puts it himself: “these canvases are about rebirth, they speak of a new hope of life.”

“They are born from a fantastic, surreal and expressionist figuration. I consider them hybrid characters closely related to my admiration for Dubuffet, Bonifacio, and Alfonso Fraile.“ Rafa Macarrón