Artist Rafael Klein is the New Yorker who has been a happy resident in Nunhead since the last century. He has even marked out his SE London turf with street art in the Old Kent Road, Camberwell, Nunhead Station, and various large scale sculptures in schools around the borough and beyond, writes Michael Holland.
Rafael says he got into art because: ‘I always loved to draw, started when I was a small child and never stopped… I love the ability to express myself, sharing the enthusiasm and energy of creativity’.
He has exhibited in Rochester Cathedral and Palazzo Vernazza in Lecce, Italy, and presented his films and artist’s books at the British Library.
I asked about any lowlights in his busy career, and found that they are all current: ‘I have been lately having to cancel film and book shows at the Tate Gallery, at Palazzo Dandalo and the chance to be a key presenter at the Turn the Page artist book symposium in Norwich. All have been postponed due to Covid-19… Because of Covid-19 there are suddenly no opportunities to exhibit and show, also collectors seem to feel a bit frightened to commit.’
But Rafael Klein has never sat back and done nothing, and is already up and running with something to do in this world crisis: ‘My plan for this period is to keep sharing my work through a series of film events on the internet. The first one, in collaboration with Magic Lantern, is a brand new short film, Inner Cities. – https://rafaelklein.com/innercitiesfilm/ It is based on a limited edition artists’ book which is in the collection of the British Library and many others. Also, I have been managing to complete a large scale gate project for Woodmansterne school in South London.’
And after we’ve beat this virus? ‘I am hoping that after this complete shutdown, people might think twice before travelling, buying, chasing experience and product. Optimistically, it could be an opportunity for people to become more conscious of the impact on the natural environment of their life style. I know I will.’