Raelis Vasquez is a visual artist who draws on historical, political and personal narratives through depictions of daily life and whose painterly compositions evoke the complexities of Afro-Latinx experiences. Through attentiveness to the people and places he portrays and through his gestural brushwork, contrast of warm and cool hues, and use of texture, the figures in Raelis Vasquez' work often appear to simultaneously inhabit a space of ease and vulnerability, encouraging viewers to consider their own positions on class, race and geography.
Vasquez shares, "Today, I feel an overpowering responsibility (or calling) to the arts and towards my Black, Latinx and immigrant communities. I paint using oils in a naturalistic manner as a means to give clarity to the subjects I present. My devotion is to the accurate representation of the convoluted histories of the Dominican Republic. I am aiming to highlight an allegorical narrative that presents the psychological states of the figures in my works while presenting a window to the viewer of their daily lives."
Vasquez earned a BFA in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and he is a 2021 MFA candidate in painting and drawing at Columbia University. Vasquez's work is in several notable public and private collections, such as the Perez Art Museum in Miami and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The artist lives and works between New Jersey and New York.