Rafa Macarrón: Too Loud a Solitude / Una Soledad Demasiado Ruidosa to Open at Lio Maica’s 60 White




Rafa Macarrón, Too Loud a Solitude / Una Soledad Demasiado Ruidosa, in process. Image courtesy Moncho Paz.

60 White is pleased to announce Too Loud a Solitude / Una Soledad Demasiado Ruidosa, a solo presentation of work by acclaimed Spanish painter Rafa Macarrón in New York City. On view from May 20 through the summer of 2023, the show will inaugurate 60 White, the new exhibition space founded by Lio Malca, with the debut of large-scale paintings inspired in part by Macarrón’s recent visits to the city. The works evoke the vibrancy and grit of New York while responding to the distinctive architecture of the space.

For this exhibition, Macarrón has created bold, monumental paintings that bring a new rawness and heightened intensity to his well-known visual language. The artist traveled to New York to spend time inside 60 White, using it as a studio. This permitted him to directly engage with the site’s unique architectural features, including original exposed brick and dramatic walls reaching as high as 35 feet. Populated by stylized figures of enlarged proportions, these works encourage viewers to engage in a profound reflection of the human condition.

Taken together, the works in the exhibition pay tribute to the post-war Spanish masters, such as Antoni Tàpies and Manolo Millares, whose practices navigated the complexities and tumultuous contradictions of a rapidly changing world. These artists, like Macarrón, were dedicated to exploring new modes of expression by questioning the boundaries of art, pulling from Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and classic Spanish traditions to develop striking visual languages that spoke to their reality.

Macarrón’s deep knowledge of art history allows him to contextualize his work within the canon. His refined technical ability allows him to borrow effortlessly from the styles and techniques of masters like Jean Dubuffet, Antonio Saura, and Philip Guston. Maccarón’s textured and layered surfaces pay homage to Dubuffet’s Art Brut, which also inspires the artist’s approach to storytelling. References to Saura’s and Guston’s bold colors are constants in Macarrón’s paintings. He is also unequivocally an admirer of Picasso, as are most European contemporary artists, who look to the iconic Spanish artist for inspiration.

Macarrón draws from a deep knowledge of art history gleaned through his lifelong exposure to the art world. His parents were not only art collectors but also architects, and were integral to his approach to depth and space, as seen in his large-scale works. His grandfather, who collected art and sold art supplies, gave Macarrón consistent access to materials to capture his observations.

As a self-taught artist, Macarrón challenges artistic convention and traditional academic ideals. He works across various art forms, including painting, sculpture, and craft, in a process that is fluid, spontaneous, and all-encompassing. Conjuring fantastical worlds and characters, Macarrón’s art celebrates color, texture, and form while telling stories that illuminate contemporary life in all its complexity.

About the Artist ~ Rafa Macarrón (b. 1981, Madrid) is a key figure in a new and exciting generation of contemporary Spanish artists. Known for creating extraordinary alternate universes, Macarrón populates his paintings with countless extravagant and distorted creatures that, for him, represent hyper-realistic versions of humanity. His works are a tribute to life and to the mundane, a message he conveys through a vibrant use of color and symbolism, along with the innocence and humility of his characters. The materials used in his painting give him total freedom of expression. Spray paint provides modernity, dynamism, and color. Pencils and felt-tip pens create the guiding thread; crayons, acrylics, and gouaches create nuanced transparencies; and oil paints add complexity. Reminiscent of works by Guston, Dubuffet, and Saura, to name a few, Macarrón’s poetic canvases have the power to connect audiences with their inner self and push the boundaries of their imagination.

Macarrón’s work can be found in major collections around the world, and he has been exhibited in Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Bogotá, Toronto, Porto, Istanbul, Brussels, and cities throughout Spain.

About Lio Maica ~ Lio Malca is a collector, hotelier, and private dealer with projects in New York (USA), Ibiza (Spain), and Tulum (Mexico).

Malca has been collecting art fervently since the early 1990s, with a focus on artists from the New York eighties art scene, specifically Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and George Condo. His collection is centered around the acquisition of works that defy the established historical narratives of high art. He always seeks to blur the boundaries between the academic and institutional and the urban and popular. Since his earliest days of collecting, Malca has firmly believed that it is the responsibility of any collector to make their works available to larger audiences. Over the last 30 years, he has organized a wide range of exhibitions, including pop-up shows, shows in a long-term exhibition space in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, and full-scale museum shows at La Nave, his art foundation in Ibiza. His activities extend to acquiring monumental artworks for his hotel, Casa Malca, in Tulum, and hosting artists at The Art Lodge, a fine art residency in Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site, also in Tulum.

About the Gallery ~ Lio Malca Gallery, 60 White, Lio Malca’s new multistory space, was originally built in 1869 and was reimagined by New York–based design firm studioMDA. The space is an important addition to Malca’s already existing global artistic ecosystem, with stops around the globe such as Fundación La Nave Salinas in Ibiza, Spain; Casa Malca hotel in Tulum, Mexico; and The Art Lodge artist residency in Sian Ka’an, Mexico. Malca’s exhibition space will be flexible and ever evolving, hosting exhibitions of emerging and established artists, historical shows of artists from Malca’s own collection, and unique artist projects and experiential performances, all open to the public.

Rafa Macarrón: Too Loud a Solitude / Una Soledad Demasiado Ruidosa will be on view from May 20 through the summer of 2023 at 60 White suite 207  in Tribeca.

Taking a look-back at the 2019 exhibition at Allouche Gallery entitled Rafa Macarron: Fluorescent Routine.