Raphael Collazo: Promising Young Artist

Antonio J. Molina, 1971

The Galería Santiago is presenting the work of Raphael A. Collazo, a young Puerto Rican who lives in N.Y. of whom Mrs. Santiago has been showing some drawings and small paintings.

Above all Collazo is a draftsman of great sensibility, timid in line but that impresses a certain grade of poetry.

He tell us that with old type drawings he wishes to offer us a new message. "I don't think --he asserts --in what I'm going to draw. I begin, very peaceful and the drawing comes to my hands. What I draw should be peaceful, nothing violent, with great calm, that is why my drawings have soft lines."

Some of his works are "collages", things pasted onto his designs, although these collages don't always succeed. What he considers his best work, which is also the largest one, I don't think is the best one. It is a large European salon, with rich panels and perspective which the artist delights in using [Palace Theater].

His best works are the subtle drawings, small, carefully done in pencil. When he uses oil he is not always successful. And, naturally, the works done only in oil suffer with many defects.

There is an interesting characteristic in some works, those empty rooms, those rooms where man is absent [Room with Brown Floor]. In others the figure is insinuated, like a ghost. When he paints children the artist imparts great tenderness.

Raphael Collazo is very promising and should work more in order to have a justifiable definition to his work. He is very young, but I think he knows what he wants. He is unaffected, modest and nothing petulant about him. In anatomical drawings he has two or three which are very successful, for example: Baile de Mascaras.

He likes to make his mats covered in velvets and brocades. Some of the drawings lose impact because their mats are too elaborate. He should be more careful in the future that it does not happen.

He uses for his work, pencil, tints of clothes, crayon and oil. His style is nothing new because it includes returning to Romanticism, but his works are agreeable and tender and one sees in them a genuine sincerity.

When he does "construction" or "assemblage" his talent for decoration jumps to vision. And why not say it? Also as stage designer.

At 13, he went to Pratt Institute (Saturday Children's School) and to the High School of Music & Art. [He received a] scholarship to [the] School of Visual Arts and studied with George Ottman. Later, he entered the Art Students League under Morris Kantor, the prestigious painter. This is his first exhibition.

Raphael Angel Collazo was born the first of August 1953 [1943].


Raphael Collazo: Promising Young Artist, El Mundo, Page 6-B, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Friday, February 19, 1971, as translated from Spanish by Collazo with minor editing by the author of this catalog. Review of the artist's first one-person exhibition, Exhibición de Raphael Angel Collazo, Galería Santiago, San Juan, Puerto Rico, February 5-19, 1971, curated by Helene Santiago.