Proposal Summary for Rome Prize Fellowship

Raphael Collazo, 1987

My reasons for wanting to study in Rome have not changed appreciably since I applied for the fellowship a year ago. The sources of my art are the Italian masters from Cimabue to de Chirico. New York City itself, I am sure, supplies the dynamism in my work; but I am intrigued by what the influence of a horizontal city with a long past will produce in my art.

[Las fuentes de mi arte son los grandes maestros italianos, desde Cimabue hasta de Chirico. A la ciudad de New York, le debo, indudablemente, el dinamismo de mi obra.]

This past winter, I experienced the effect on my work of a stay in another place: I spent a month at the Vermont Studio Colony. The different perspective and surroundings deepened the work. Removed from the familiarity of my own city, outside of myself, I clarified my forms and added new ones. They began to combine human and biomorphic shapes interchangeably.

At the same time, the space in my paintings has shifted to add size perspective to geometric perspective and de-emphasize atmospheric perspective. Forms overlap. They relate more to each other rather than float independently. While still striving for a grandeur of arrangement in a timeless environment, I have now drawn back, so that what formerly occupied an entire canvas may now be only a segment of a larger landscape. I am paradoxically involved in a synthesis of modernist flatness with a simultaneous conveying of depth. I am tending toward more classic arrangements while not losing baroque drama; a good time to be exposed to the longer perspective that Rome and its masterpieces can give me.

[Paradójicamente, me encamino hacia una posible síntesis entre la iqualdad de superficie del modernismo y la expresión simultánea de una percepción de profundidad. Me inclino, pues, hacia las estructuras clásicas pero sin perder el sentido dramático de lo barroco.]


Proposal summary for Rome Prize Fellowship, New York, November 10, 1987.