Influenced by the New York abstract expressionism of the 1940s and 50s, Los Angeles artist Marc Raphael began teaching himself how to create his first action paintings in 1991. After encountering Jackson Pollock’s work for the first time, Raphael was enraptured by the scale, energy, color, and abstraction, awakening his creative spirit.
“As an action painter who paints in an abstract expressionist style, I am primarily interested in the process of making art. To begin a painting, I lay raw, unstretched canvas on the floor, and intuitively apply the first marks of acrylic paint on the canvas. What I love about raw canvas is how watered-down acrylic paint stains the cotton fibers, providing a smoothly textured background. By consciously attending to formal elements, especially color, line, and texture, and allowing intuition to freely assert itself, the painting soon comes to life and presents a direction. This balance between control and spontaneity also reminds me of improvisational jazz, and that is why I refer to my paintings as ‘jazz-like improvisations on canvas.’”