in Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records at The Oakland Museum of California 2014
Commissioned by the Oakland Museum of California, Artist Raphael Villet spent three months interviewing and photographing small and big time record collectors, dj’s, record store owners and bands. He has also produced a 57 minute audio documentary of their stories, thoughts and reflections on records.
This project profiles the diversity of record collectors here in the Bay Area. These photographs and the audio documentary ask the question: why do you collect records? The Bay Area has a rich history of music appreciation, one that carries an enthusiasm and love for records. They are still a passion to many. In an age of digital convenience, it’s amazing to see people pour so much time, energy andmoney into them.
There a zine that accompanies this project and it can be found here.
Artist in Residence
Tenderloin Museum, SF
The Anywhere Zines Project is an activation of public space for the use of art making. It is simply a place on the street for people to arrive, sit and make art. Anywhere Zines attempts to facilitate self expression and introspection through art. It aims to be inclusive, non judgemental, and free from traditional art making structures. Anywhere Zines utilizes zines as an accessible vehicle - with potential for self empowerment, autonomy and discovery.
Once a week for 5 months (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017) I set up on the corner of Leavenworth and Eddy in San Francisco. Two tables were outfitted with art supplies and blank zine templates. I encouraged people passing by to participate by making a zine or simply write or draw. Afterwards I sent them 5 copies of whatever they created. This book is an archive of those forty five zines
Working in the Tenderloin over these past nine months has been a fulfilling and valuable learning experience. I am so very grateful to those who took the time to engage and create. I'm inspired by their enthusiasm! This project has further opened me up to the potential of connection and awareness through art and I have learned greatly from the people I interacted with: through their art and their presence.
Pier 70 San Francisco 2014
Press Release from Adobe Books:
"Don't mine me! I'm just passing through. This will all be yours. Look at me move. I'm leaving.
Raphael Villet is an artist who no longer calls San Francisco home. He lives and works in the Lower Bottoms of West Oakland. This Friday he will represent Adobe Books at the "art and performance spectacle" in the once beautifully sleepy Dogpatch neighborhood. Come out for some "grassroots ethos" that "taps into the heart of San Francisco's culture." Raphael will be exhibiting his photographs in a setting of "minimal restriction of space, economics, or arbitrary rules." Yes we are talking about Artbeats 2014. An "intimate cultural gathering" that "emerged from deep roots in the arts and music world."
"The beautifully derelict Pier 70 in San Francisco will be transformed" "The beautifully derelict Pier 70 in San Francisco will be transformed" "The beautifully derelict Pier 70 in San Francisco will be transformed" "The beautifully derelict Pier 70 in San Francisco will be transformed"
7 Postcard series
Printed by Play Press, 2016
Edition of 50
In late 2016 I invited seven Bay Artists to make a piece of art and to write a letter to an unknown artist in Mexico City. I printed these works on postcards and delivered them to over 50 artists, activists, skateboarders and publishers while on a trip to participate in the Rrréplica gathering of 2016.
Adobe Books Gallery 2011
Wall Text by Sean Vranizan
About the Artwork:
This exhibition of photographs celebrates the release of Raphael Villet's zine "Man-o-Man-o-Man." Published by Hamburger Eyes. The photography zine looks into how men create, survive, and reject the cultural expectations of their gendered identities. The project compiles photographs taken in clubs, parks, buses, and dives during Villet's travels around Europe and the US, including San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Berlin, Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Lyon, and Rome.
Raphael seeks to explore the different representations of being a man around the world and the different ways in which men express, reject or struggle with their identities. The photos are self-reflective: Raphael seeks to log his insecurities about male identity through documenting others. The reception will feature musical sets by the bands Meat Market and Indian Giver, from Santa Cruz, CA.
This is his first solo exhibition. Hamburger Eyes Photo Magazine is based in San Francisco and published bi-annually.
Hamburger Eyes is carried in shops, stores, libraries, galleries, and museums across the entire planet. www.hamburgereyes.com
San Francisco, 2013
These photographs and videos are part of a ongoing series on body movement. I'm interested in the ways that we consciously and unconsciously present our bodies in front of others. Every movement we make is a product of our minds and the story of our life. The transference of motion that is documented from one photo to the next gives me a chance to see this presentation of the self. It is constantly arriving somewhere and moving forward.
Exhibition with artist Sean Vranizan
All artworks shown by Raphael Villet
The video work can be viewed here.
About the Exhibition:
My work presented here at Forthrite Gallery explores how photography and the internet are changing the ways that I am relating to people. I will start with the phrase: look at me. I am beginning to accept that, as an artist, that is often what I am saying online and off. Look at me. The photos say this. Look at me. sharing my work on social media says this. The flags in this series explore what it's like for me to create and promote an artist identity on the internet. Sharing artistic production through social media means engaging with the typical forms of communication within that community. In the context of facebook, that is mostly comprised of condensed phrases that carry an ambiguous sheen. The words on the flags are pulled from comments left under fb posts that I and other artists have created as we promote our artwork. In reality, these comments act as short form solidarity, of recognition of content shared.
Whether or not we identify as artists, we all share content and we all say look at me. We all receive solidarity and acknowledgement online and this series asks the viewer to consider the ways in which they communicate this solidarity. Are they following a script? too rushed? nervous about expanding their comments? bored by the content? As I continue to promote the brand that is me the artist I am exploring the reality of this situation and the humor and emptiness of most online communication. The idea that, as artists, we must accept the current state of online communication that online sharing facilitates. Solidarity and recognition towards everyone have taken the form of drive-by exclamations: condensed snippets of meaning. It is both sad and funny and still a very human experience for me. These words remain loaded and are full of expression, however, they also appear in little empty white boxes. It is unclear where they are coming from and where they are going.
I'm changing in that I'm beginning to create a context for why I am attracted to photographing everyone around me. In the simplest of ways, I see that everyone wants. We are instilled with and create desires, needs and aspirations. That is mysterious and beautiful to me. Knowing this helps me building compassion for other people. I want just like everyone else. These film photographs of other people represent a want that I have. They are my way of saying look at me, of iterating whats often like to be a self promoting artist. I throw myself out there with the goal of sharing my artwork and sometimes end up feeling like a magician, a brand ambassador, a pusher, wild and sometimes completely out of my element.
I created a participatory installation at Anti-Lab esessentially as a gift economy project, I offered 200 free biz cards to anyone who wanted one. The goal was to provide those who don’t already have a biz card with an accessible and free way to get one. And why biz cards? I see biz cards as tool for elevating whatever project/biz/collective/hustle someone might have going on. A biz card isn’t necessary but it’s useful as a way to convey intention and organization on the behalf of the card holder. I also think that if people are to have biz cards, they should be beautiful! They should be fun! They should be personal.
The art for these cards was based off the information these people provided me. Responding in this way was actually really fun and challenging. What would a “Poetic Urban Planner” want their card to look like? A “DJ, Teacher, Artist”? A “Conversationalist”? A “Arts-Professional” I ended up making a bunch of art that I’d never be inclined to make and in a way I’m grateful for that experience.
These two works, produced in 2013 are part of an ongoing series on body movement. They were shown in the 2013 exhibition "Just the two of us"
Exhibition on San Pablo ave at 37th St., Oakland, CA
An exhibition on the street of works made from 2015-2017
All works were sold in fundraiser for the Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief and any remaining works were left on the street.