From the Maasai Mara to Birmingham – artist Raphael Mazzucco unveils new exhibition
The Canadian creator, who has homes in Lebanon and Connecticut, launches material produced during the COVID-19 lockdown, and the art touches upon theme of the African continent and the urgent need for conservation.
Taking inspiration from his travels to the Mother Continent, renowned multimedia creator Raphael Mazzucco has launched his first major UK exhibition since 2019.
Mazzucco’s brand-new collection entitled Grass Roots is the result of two immersive years in his Connecticut studio repurposing materials from his extensive exploration of Africa.
Inspired by his travels, this striking new series includes 40 original, hand-embellished artworks adorned with hand-written quotes and iconography which makes a powerful plea for conservation.
The series reflects and celebrates Mazzucco’s love and respect for the continent, capturing the grasslands, native wildlife and one of the ten natural wonders of the world, the Maasai Mara.
The material throws a spotlight on African wildlife such as elephants, lions, and giraffes which face constant threat from poachers and climate change.
Mazzucco also reveals the danger posed to the indigenous people of Africa as crops fail and tribes battle with famine and the severe shortage of clean drinking water.
Commenting on his brand-new collection, Mazzucco, said: “Working on this new series felt like going through my old diaries. All of these particular images hold great meaning and memory for me.
“My previous collection was photographed and created during the springtime before the pandemic, focusing on beauty, warmth and the vibrant colours of nature.
“This collection was created over the winter months during COVID-19, which gave me time to deep dive into my archives and rediscover all these special pieces.
“It’s a series I’ve always wanted to do.”
In order to capture the sepia palette of the Maasai Mara effectively in his artwork, Mazzucco added pigments and spices – local to the areas – he visited into his compositions.
Each layer of paint applied to his photography is the product of complete spontaneity, making his style as organic as the materials he uses.
By layering paint, photography, and hand-lettered text, Raphael takes viewers on a documentary-style journey through geographic and emotional terrains.
Ian Weatherby-Blythe, Group Managing Director at Castle Fine Art, said: “We are so pleased to be working with Raphael on his latest awe-inspiring collection.
“Grass Roots is nothing less than exceptional; it awakens the senses and allows the viewer to journey alongside Raphael on his travels.
“These original pieces capture the beauty of the natural world in Raphael’s signature style and are the perfect addition to any collection.”