Living a life with Ralph...

Ernest Acker-Gherardino, 1990


Living a life with Ralph (Raphael) was living a transformed life, a life in and of art. Ralph was a magical person, every place you went with him becoming suffused with an aura and from then on when you pass by the place again, no matter how ordinary it may have seemed before, after Ralph it would have become special. He was alive to everything, taking in the whole scene with wide-eyed interest.

Ralph was always positive, going up, transcending. His dreams were fantastic tapestries, fully realized.

He had a very lucky life, and a very beautiful one, not without sorrows and suffering, but these were surmounted.

Everything he saw and experienced was transformed into the kaleidoscopic beauty of his paintings, records of his intense experience of life. That is why he is still so fully here. It is almost impossible to believe him gone. He inspires and keeps us all moving and laughing.


Untitled statement (called Living a life with Ralph...), New York, 1990, probably written for the unpublished catalog of the memorial exhibition Healing Garden, Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, New York, March 23-April 14, 1990, curated by Nilda M. Peraza. The statement appeared in the catalog, Raphael Collazo (1943-1990) Memorial Retrospective, University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona, October 4-November 22, 1992, curated by Peter Bermingham.