‘The Wild Swan’ by Raúl Guerra
Artist: Raúl Guerra
Title: ‘The Wild Swan’
Medium: Graphite on Watercolour Arches paper 350gms
Dimensions: 11.7” x 8.25”
Year of Creation: 2018
About the Artwork:
“This piece was conceived as a tribute to one of my favourite ancient tales, that of “The Wild Swan”. During the Middle Ages the Swan was considered the symbol of death and also a mystic symbol for those who started search of the Holy Grail. For me, it encapsulates the perfect shape of beauty and grace. I tried to convey the pursuit of innocence while creating this piece.” – Raúl Guerra
About the Artist:
Graphic narrator of journeys across the enchanted world of legends and mythology, Raúl Guerra is an artist in possession of an insatiable curiosity, which gives rise to his prolific body of alluring work.
Known simply as Raúl Guerra in the art world, Raúl Jiménez Guerra is a Spanish painter and illustrator from Andalusia (Ronda, Malaga). He graduated from the University of Granada with a degree in fine arts, majoring in painting and graphic arts. He subsequently undertook a kind of personal pilgrimage that would see him watching, learning, listening, absorbing & living in Belfast, Paris & London, on a perpetual quest for ‘beauty extreme’. The siphoning of all his accumulated sensory influences (with Celtic folklore and English carrot cake not being the least of them) would become the subtle recurring forms that now define his illustrations and paintings.
Guerra also draws heavy inspiration from harmony, melody, lyrics & sound, notably the vocal diaphaneity of simultaneously strong & dulcet feminine artists such as Loreena McKennitt, Kate Bush or Rachel Claudio (for whom Guerra designed the front cover of her recently released debut album); or even the rolling, ever-congested breathing of a little pug named Runa.
Speaking more specifically on a visual art level, the influence of heroic fantasy themes exercises itself most evidently in his more recent works, made undoubtedly manifest by his passion for illustration. The female subjects can at times resemble water-nymphs or other evanescent fairy creatures. This particular pictorial style is underpinned by the multiple mythologies of times past and times yet to pass. Contrary to many for whose work is steeped in sensuality, Guerra’s feminine evocations hold distinct notes of demureness & delicacy.
His appreciation for feminine beauty extends wide and eclectic, and can be seen in highly urban contexts, such as the aforementioned album cover for Rachel Claudio’s ‘Claudiography’ or his ‘An African Woman’ series, one of which was recently featured on a 12-metre-high wall in Shanghai on the South African pavillion of the 2010 International Expo.