Joseph Raffael

Excerpt from the 2009 catalogue

“Painting has been for me the way to explore the exalting and profound mystery of being alive & here on this earth.
My mother was a farmer’s daughter from the tip of Long Island. As a family, we lived in Brooklyn. It was W.W.II and we had a victory garden and flowers in the backyard. The garden meant something very deep to my mother. I helped her with it. More than anything else my own experience of the plant nature realm was influenced and inspired by my mother & that garden amidst its plants and the cherry tree. I now 6 decades later paint cherry tree blossoms from Lannis’ and my garden here in France. The Brooklyn garden is where I first witnessed the patterns of seasons, the dormant times, the flourishing times. I think nature’s alchemy really affected me from those beginning garden times. Alchemy and magic in the sense of the wonder of watching buds come out of the earth. They weren’t there yesterday, but here they are today.. Seeing blossoms come alive is the same as watching a painting come forth out of the white space of a page or a canvas. The garden is another example of how one begins with nothing but seeds and the brown colored space of the earth from which, little by little, the garden emerges.”

-Joseph Raffael 2009