When did you start painting?
I started to draw at the age of 2 and haven’t stopped since then. I had an exhibition of portraits (comics) in Brussels, Sablon, at the age of 13, won several art competitions and was invited to two TV shows to present my work. In high school, I started to study art history and discovered the Flemish primitives. Artists like Hans Memling, Rogier Van Der Weyden, and Jan Van Eyck have inspired me a lot, so I started to turn my drawings into paintings when I was about 18.
Did you go to school?
Yes, I have a 5-year studies diploma in graphics and visual communication, at the University of “La Cambre” Brussels, Belgium. I’ve finished it in 2008.
When did you start meeting the celebrities that you paint?
I started to meet them in January 2011, Wiz Khalifa was the first one, but I met all the celebrities that I’ve painted. They all appreciated and congratulated me for my work, and also made my publicity. 50 Cent took his portrait that I painted in his office in New York and Rick Ross has placed his portrait that I’ve painted in his music video “Cake” Remix. I still have to meet Rihanna, but we’re working on this.
What do you hope to have accomplished five years from now?
Only God can decide. I really want to put art outside its traditional context. I like the possible combination between art–shows–events–music and/or sport, I have many projects in that sense at the moment. So showing and bringing art to people in a more popular way and touching a large and various type of public. I would like to work with charities, because my main goal with the paintings is to sell them and help people in Africa and all over the world where there is a big need. I would obviously be delighted to have more paintings on music videos like Rick Ross did with the portrait that I’ve painted for him, and who knows, maybe an artistic collaboration soon with one of the artist that I’ve painted. The most important thing to mention about these paintings, is that I consider they are not even at half of my artistic abilities. I’m preparing more paintings and meetings with celebrities, and I’m working hard every day. In a way, I’m living for it now, so my art, ambition and talent have definitely no limits.
Where can people see more of your artwork?
On my website: www.ra-paints.com
On facebook: Rá Artist-Designer (Facebook.com/RaPaints)
On instagram: instagram/rapaintsofficial
On various exhibitions in Europe that will be announced on my Facebook page