Raphaël Federici is proud of his Corsican roots! now, meet the person behind the artist

Raphaël Federici 7Delighted to bring to your attention a young artist of Corsican origins, now living on the mainland – in Paris to be precise. Raphaël Federici finds his roots in Calvi, with a Corsican mother and Cameroonian father, and says people are often surprised to learn that he is in fact, more ‘Corsican’ than he appears to be. This island remains his native land, having grown up between Calvi and Aix-en-Provence, and of course having family remaining here too. Raphaël was very pleased to have an interview from someone here in Corsica, as he could share his opinions and inform the public as to exactly what he is engaged in, with his artistic adventures. He’s full of life ! bouncing with energy and highly motivated.

When did you realise you wished to be an artist Raphaël ?
‘I think I understood this, when I was still in my mother’s womb. I learnt how to draw even before talking. Both my parents draw, and earn their living with music. It really wasn’t long before I wanted to paint everything I could lay my hands on’
So, what medium do you prefer to use, as I see you use several ?
‘Oil. Oil painting offers depths of incredible colours. I’m always amazed at the finish oil offers – I know, this may seem as a surprise coming from a ‘street artist’. Saying this, I have nothing against a good spray of paint ‘à la Jackson Pollock’ !’ Raphaël Federici 2
Art is a means of communication, what would you like to transmit to others with your own art ?
‘I feel I have much to say, which certainly doesn’t go without being understood. My paintings are material to say “wake up!” – life is not always what you believe it is, just as the truth is often ‘elsewhere’. I don’t preach, but the seed that is sewn with great caution, will never see the light if the land is not fertile. I simply restrict myself to inseminating points of view – as St Mathew once said, ‘He who has ears let him hear’. Apart from that, I like people to laugh, any and every way in achieving this is good, and ultimately to have them reflect. This is what street art is about ! You paint on the street, someone walks by and stops looking astonished, slaps you (or not), and leaves a little more flexible. I call this ‘brain jacking’
Whereas the use of techniques is concerned, what have you yet to explore ?
‘Myself’ – I am in constant dialogue with my ‘higher self’, as the Buddhists say. There’s much to say here, I am constantly searching for clues; taste, colour, forms – all of which captivate me in every day life, and that I do not always grasp the meaning. I’m always in search of new techniques. One day, it may be the use of stencils, the next pastels, and then the following etching and collage … in short, it’s a merry jumble under this broad coif !’
Raphaël Federici 3What are your dreams, as an artist ?
‘To share my message with as many as possible, participating on my own level towards the awareness needed so crucially for humanity, all within my personal capability – and to win the lottery …’
Do you find the artistic world is still a difficult environment ?
‘Yes and no. The artistic world is one big market, and like any market it also responds to fluctuations generated by active principles. Of course, the overriding element being money. It’s logical there is a gap between the young talented artists, and ‘bankable’ artists, it can be a cruel milieu at times. However, there is a second market, which I call ‘deco’ market, based on a store concept – this can give a chance to artists from time to time. And then there is a third market, more random too, which I call the ‘underground’ market – here, all is permitted. We manage to expose in many very cool places, where art communicates itself, and is its’ own agent, counting on its’ own influence and network. I think this is the system that will work best over time, we see what happened to record companies. When an artistic system promotes demand rather than supply, then it is in terminal phase’
What about your relationship with other artists ?
‘Mainly positive relationships, yes. Generally, I have a tendency to make many friends all over the place, artists and non-artists’
And would you like to expose one day in CorsicaRaphaël Federici 4
‘Yes, I would ! In that way my grandfather could finally see that what I do is a little more than ‘colouring’ ! Soon, who knows .. time is knowing to be patient too’
Do you travel, and would you like to ?
‘I’m always travelling. Recently to Morocco, for two months – my wife is Moroccan, and an actress. I love this country, it is powerful, mystical and allows all our aspirations’
I believe you would like to be a spokesman for your generation, can you elaborate here please ?
‘Yes, I think I’d like to represent an ‘after-after’ sixty-eight(ers), victim of the capitalist world in decline, and inheritor of over consumption and loss of values. A more enlightened generation, sensitive to its’ environment and eager to change things in the balance. As an artist, I feel an awakening of consciousness, a type of antenna for this global indigenous movement. I’m working in this sense, and if I can add a grain of sand, it would be incredible’
What about a particular piece of your own work that you cherish ?12733641_551954301630055_5890730847931350639_n
‘Up to now, it is ‘Regard’ – it expresses a strong character, an experience, a soul. It seems alive, and this is the one I have the most difficulty with when someone asks me to sell it. I really have much work to accomplish on myself, in order to separate myself from my creations, I also see a shrink’
Who do you admire Raphaël ?
‘I hesitated between Basquiat, Caravaggio, Jesus and Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov. Since it’s just between us, I’ll add Petru Guelfucci’
A quote that always accompanies you ?
‘The role of the artist is to achieve through a physical action that which the intelligence perceives as truth, what the heart feels is right, in order for the spiritual world to descend and be incarnated in the matter’
Tell me about Paris Sketch Culture, how many are involved here ?
‘Just myself. At one stage, I had it thought to be a group but now, as I have become more identifiable, I just leave it as such’
You’ve been exposing since 2013, do you have a particular memory from one of your exhibitions ?
‘My exhibition in Aix-en-Provence. I really didn’t expect such enthusiasm ! I was literally raised, transported and propelled into the hills by a generous public, who were curious, empathetic and loyal’
Raphael Federici X Franccois hollandeWhat would you say your strengths are ?
‘The ability to adapt to all situations. Curiosity, and a certain ability to synthesis. But seriously, I have a better footwork than Travolta !’
The future, shall we write about it, and is there something you would like to reveal here ?
‘To dream is to inform the future .. and I am a big dreamer. Well, if I have any advice to give to my readers, I’d say ‘never talk about a project before it is happening’. Ok, a small exception here. On March 25th, I’m going to paint a large 5x4m wall at the Immigration Museum in Paris – and everybody is invited ! I’ve been there since around March 19th, subject being: ‘The Rise of Racism in France’ – we had the pleasure of receiving President Hollande and some of his Ministers recently’
A short message for my readers perhaps ?
‘What I love about the Corsicans, is that they have understood something essential. The scarecrow that frightens from afar, is far from frightening. You don’t send a bailiff to a Corsican, you invite him for a drink, and a second one .. and then you gently explain that he forgot to pay an old bill. Then, you propose that he pays a first part, and some time later on you invite him again for a drink .. these people are strong, rebellious, with firm values, and a powerful culture. When you possess this type of background in addition to confronting other cultures, you are armed up to the ears. I am proud to belong to this culture that strengthened me’


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