rafael rozendaal interview

rafael rozendaal

rafael rozendaal

rafael rozendaal ford


about rafael rozendaal

rafael rozendaal is a visual artist who uses web as his canvas.

his art is sometimes made in the form of websites.

his art websites have more than 40 million visits per year.

google analytics for period 21 jan 2012 – 21 jan 2013 show 40,806,730 visits.

this is more attention than most artworks, museums, and galleries.

the visitors of rafael’s art websites need, understand, and appreciate his work.



when did you decide you are an artist?

My parents are both artists so I grew up with a lot of art in my life. From as long as I can remember I have been drawing, visting exhibitions, seeing art around me. I never made a decision to be an artist. I always knew that I like to make things and realize ideas.

I did my first exhibition in 2001 at the Electronic Orphanage in Los Angeles. Then I realized that it is possible for me to make a career out of art.

I still think the term artist is confusing. It is used to describe an occupation (someone who makes art), but it is also used as an equivalent of the word “genius”. If someone excels in any occupation, pushing the boundaries of their field, they will be called an “artist”.

The word “poet” has the same double meaning. “Musician” or “Film Maker” does not have that double meaning.

But I always tell people I’m an artist, otherwise they think I’m a webdesigner, which is something I don’t like to do.


how does it look like to be an artist today?

It depends on the day. Sometimes my day is a lot like a regular office job. Lots of emails to answer, some Skype calls, invoicing. Some days I spend mostly sketching, either in a sketchbook or on the computer. Some days I make music with my friend Luuk, some days I visit a museum, and other days I’m traveling for exhibitions.

My main task every day is to find ideas. It helps me to just sit and stare at a white piece of paper. I scribble and nothing might come up. Then I usually go for a walk or listen to music. A change of scenery usually helps. Then I go back to the sketchbook.

I wake up early every day and I run about 4 times a week.

I work every day of the week/year. I enjoy working much more than partying, so that results in more time to work.


what are your plans for next decade?

The internet will always be my public laboratory. I can create anything I want and share it, without anyone standing between me and my audience. The next decade I hope to branch out with more collaborations. I develop ideas on my own but those ideas can be used to work in exhibitions, campaigns, fashion, movies. I am developing a vocabulary that can be activated in many contexts.

More specifically, I would really love to art direct a science fiction movie. I think in the future the boundaries between computers and our surroundings will blur. We will no longer think of screens, the digital will simply be all around us. This offers a lot of possibilities for an artist like me.


visit newrafael.com