Art should be interpreted by the one that sees it. It is an intimate experience; I believe it is for your eyes only. – Julio Larraz
Julio Larraz is one of the world’s most creative artists. His images are inspired by the books he reads, the dreams he dreams and the beauty that he sees in the world around him. His inspiration, combined with his incredible artistic talent, has led to extraordinary works that are included in private and public collections around the world.
Larraz was born in Havana in 1944. His family left Cuba in 1961. They lived in Miami, Washington and New York, where Larraz began his career as a political cartoonist. His work was published in Esquire magazine, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post and on the cover of Time magazine.
In 1967, Larraz began working full time as a painter. “I wasn’t bored of my job. I love drawing and I love politics, but I knew I wanted to do something that completely filled me with joy.” he said in an interview in The Huffington Post. “When I started, the type of painting I wanted to create was forbidden. Abstract art was in full force at the time, but I wanted to be a Realist painter, which was considered degenerate art. I remember thinking ‘Terrific. You are not supposed to do this, and this is exactly what I am going to do.’ I had to go there, it was calling me.”
Always intrigued by the light of the sun, he lived in Tuscany, Paris, San Patricio and Mexico. In 1984, Larraz moved to Miami, where he found beautiful sunshine, surrounded by the sea.
Earlier this year, a retrospective of his work was held at the Coral Gables Museum in Miami. Larraz is very eloquent when explaining his process. In a video that accompanied the retrospective Julio Larraz:, The Kingdom We Carry Inside, he explained how he creates the images that his makes come alive on canvas: “It’s a sort of meditation.” he said, “You are concentrated on things that are there and they’re not there. They’re fictitious. But to you, as a painter, they become alive.”
Watching Larraz work on a painting is remarkable. He explains how the image begins in his imagination, but watching him take charcoal, then brush, and transform the image into a painting, with such ease, is astonishing.
His work is imbued with the lightness of sea and sky, a Caribbean sensibility and surreal quality.
Even more impressive, Julio Larraz is self-taught. He befriended other artists, but has maintained his unique style during his long and successful career.
Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Julio Larraz available at Surovek Gallery.
Samantha Matcovsky. Julio Larraz: Creator of Dreams. The Huffington Post. December 6, 2017.