About the Artist
Robb Rael is a Santa Fe native whose work clearly reflects the aesthetic influences of his environment. The landscape, color, traditions and culture of the area find representation in Rael’s work and serve as the state settings in which his mythical storylines flourish.
Being raised by his parents who were artist, Rael understood from an early age that a career in art would be both challenging and rewarding. His mother, Judy Ortiz, has been an oil painter for 30 years and is well known and respected in Santa Fe. Rael’s decade long professional exploration began with the fulfillment of this artistic heritage and continues to gain momentum.
Robb Rael’s presence in Santa Fe’s art community has been a constant since his first participation in Contemporary Hispanic Market in 2004 in which he was awarded “Best in Painting.” From that moment, critics, collectors and local community organizations have embraced and lauded Robb’s work for its unique style. His work has been featured in numerous local galleries and been chosen for the official posters of annual local events such as Contemporary Hispanic Market, the Santa Fe Wine Festival at El Rancho de los Golandrinas, and Will Shuster’s Zozobra. Rael’s work can also be found among fine collections both locally and nationally.
Robb’s use of gouache medium is a deliberate choice that compliments his drawing style, offers the use of fantastic color selection and grounds his work in an historic medium that compliments his subject matter and vision. Gouache is an opaque water-color medium made from chalk that requires considerate and exacting application and thoughtful layering of color and shade in order to be most effective. The historic illustration of Medieval texts with gouache medium was an early and significant influence on Robb’s style and selection of gouache for his work.
Another example of Robb Rael’s work and his flexibility with scale, surface and medium can be viewed at the newest incarnation of the Plaza Restaurant in which he was commissioned to create a four-panel, 248-square-foot mural requiring the use of interior latex house paint. The limits of the medium and the scale of the project were welcomed technical challenges he accepted without reservation. The developing results of the project prove that Rael’s artistic style is determined enough to avoid being lost in translation.