Letter of Recommendation for Raphael Collazo

Ernest Acker-Gherardino, c. 1975-1976

Collazo is devoting all his energies to his art. There is no doubt about his being a serious artist. Anyone who knew him a short time would agree. He is not yet able to support himself by sales of his work. He has had many admiring customers, however, over the years. But mostly he has to take odd jobs to live. And he has received scholarships in order to continue studying while developing his craft. His grasp of techniques and styles is swift and complete. He has a great ability to take things in and incorporate what is appropriate into his own developing vision. His range in subject matter goes from marvelous Dickensian characterization to the realm of astronauts. At the same time, he is capable of putting together assemblages which rival in their intimate nuances the work of Joseph Cornell.

Yet he is not one of those artists who shut themselves away in their studios and carefully nuture personal expression. He needs for the vigorous expression of his art an interplay with other minds. In a sense, he is intensely competitive. He means to excel. That is why he continues to attend art classes even though he would be perfectly justified in calling himself "a matured artist", whatever that means.

His reading is intense and broad. His conversation concerned with essential matters, never with the trivial, is always stimulating. He has a very practical bent, gets things done efficiently, does not waste time, and disciplines himself carefully.

He is a first-rate candidate for a talent award. His draughtsmanship is superb. His superior abilities are immediately evident. His grasp of the possibilities of different mediums is instinctive and complete.

The talent is there in full measure and the ability to push it to its full expression.


Letter of recommendation for Raphael Collazo, probably for Art Students' League Merit Scholarship, New York, c. 1975-1976.