These images are created through a painter's process. Like early Pictorialists, Rafael uses similar techniques as the abstract Impressionists did, adding atmospheric effects by hand in camera and in post production. He believes that a portrait, landscape, mood or feeling is best conveyed through multiple images as a composite. The images play with space and time, perception and perspective. Bringing 360 degree views within one plane – suggesting a single image taken at a single instant – the scope of the image, in reality, revealing itself to the artist slowly over multiple frames over a period of days.
"Memory" and the desire "to go back" are recurring themes in Rafael's work. He returns to the same location, as one might play a song or read a letter again and again, but this is beyond nostalgia, reaching real reverence, somehow capturing the beautiful innocence of looking at something for the first time. Each image is a piece of a greater mosaic that maps out a physical journey through a convergence of public and personal places and history. By placing himself in the images, he suggests the eternal nature of the Soul, reincarnation, a desire to be remembered and to remember.
His work also juxtaposes and celebrates the old and the new. This traveler sits vigil for the things passing away, and looks towards bright horizons, glowing planet-like streetlamps, spires and great modern and ancient monuments. And his travels bring him close to home again where he honors that neon sign, the everyday and the extraordinary, from the omnicient narrator's point of view, just hovering between dreams and dimensions and poised for flight.