Qompendium is an evolving and ever-changing platform for philosophy, art, culture and science, represented by a series of print publications: magazines, books and monographs. Furthermore, it is enriched by a gallery concept, a work shop and a fast-moving online portal.
The great grandchild of Humberto Castello Branco, former president of Brazil, Rafael Rozendaal makes a living from creating tiny yet amazing animated websites. He has exhibited all over the world in galleries and museums and has quite some plans for the future.
The artist Rafaël Rozendaal was born 1980 in Amsterdam and he lived in Rio, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, Portland and Berlin.
Qompendium: Rafael, do you consider yourself a graphic designer or an artist?
And who is your target audience?
The world and every single person in it and animals, plants, minerals and software.
Primarily, you create mini sites and place animations into them for immediate view. How can and why should one purchase these works?
The first step is to send an email to me or to my gallerist (Niklas Belenius). Then we can check which piece you want and if it is available. After your purchase, your name is placed in the html title bar as the collector. Then the domain is transferred to you and you own the website. You should purchase my work because you want to.
How long do you need to create one animation at an average?
It varies a lot. Some pieces take a few minutes while some take two years. The most difficult part is to find the form, — sometimes the process is long and painful. Sometimes things happen automatically; sometimes it’s like climbing a mountain. The result always looks like it was done in a day.
Sometimes excellent work and best ideas are executed in a few hours and the results are stunning. Still, the client is charged by the hour or project length. How is that in your case? Any way to determine the price of your work?
My popularity and number of institutional exhibitions determine my price.
In an interview for Textfield Magazine you mentioned: “I’m not interested in stories. Stories are interesting but I don’t think my head works that way.” So, how does your head work then?
For some reason most of my ideas are moving ideas without a beginning or an end; frozen moments that still move. I really don’t know why some people come up with songs and others come up with novels and some people can’t do it all. It would be very interesting to research in that area.
You referred to the Internet as the most intimate stage for art so far. How come?
That is because usually art is seen in a museum with yelling kids and fat tourists around you; or a snobby gallerist is trying to make you feel uncomfortable. The Internet is just me and you with nothing in between.
Oh, you and I seem to be the only ones cherishing the Internet for democratizing art for the masses. Quite some people are annoyed by the possibility that you can zoom into Dali’s work without even leaving your bed. How are your notions?
Paintings look best when you see them for real, especially Dali.
The Internet and museums are not mutually exclusive.
Most people smirk when confronted with your work – is that what you’re aiming at or do you have a completely different intension? What kind of feedback do you receive?
I mostly get very happy and kind feedback. I get so many visits and blog links and everything, thank you to everyone! I do not aim at anything; I make things because I feel they should be made — no strategy or aim. I want to cover everything.
You sound like Kayne West receiving an award and thanking his friends – joking – Seriously, old-fashioned people think art is made on a canvas with a brush. A popcorn-popping website isn’t art per se. Did you ever have to defend your work publicly?
I do not defend my work. If you don't like it what can I do? Not everyone likes the same music either.
Were you ever annoyed of working with a computer instead of, let’s say acryl? Ever tried to use a pencil instead of a keyboard?
I make drawings with ink on paper. I enjoy making them very much, but I hate that they can get dirty or damaged. The collector should take care of them; I’m not so good at it.
For all fans, do name some essential pieces of work in the history of animation!
South Park, Roadrunner, Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse. No real eye openers here I think … but check them out from time to time.
A frequently asked question and an honest answer needed, please: Do you make a living with all these gifs?
I used to do commissioned stuff from time to time, but lately I don’t really have to, I do make a living from my art. I’m always open to cool projects.
You would like to meet David Lynch, what could you offer him to make the meeting a pleasure for both sides?
One more question, you are an atheist as we found out on your Facebook account. Your website is called the “new” Rafael. Is that a reference to the archangel Raphael, who is supposed to perform all manners of healing? Have you ever asked your parents why they have given you the archangel’s name? Would you want to change it?
Never thought of that ... I have always been very happy with my name, and people always compliment me on my name. My mom is from Brazil and she wanted a name that works both in Dutch and in English. It is easy to pronounce. In Asia it is very difficult, because of the L-R thing. Lafaer.
Last one; do you like being a part of the web 2.0 and 3.0 movement? Some people are still shy and don’t like Facebook, Twitter, FlickR or anything like that. What are your personal benefits from these portals?
Keeping up with gossip, filling timeslots, streamlining surfing, sending love notes — I always enjoy it. I like to publish everything.
What is …
the best in your work?
I do not know how to value art and say what is good and what is bad. Not in my own or others.
the most annoying part of your work?
I wish I could work outside in bright sunlight but computer screens are not there yet.
your favorite occupation?
Art or design?
2D or 3D?
72 ppi or 300 dpi?
believe in …
I am …
interested in …
influenced by …
Dali, Magritte, Malevich, Duchamp, Mondrian, Lichtenstein.
I'd like …
to meet …
to eat …
tsukiji fish market sushi.
to possess …
35 million euros.
to kick the ass of …
to give all my money to …
to ban …
to thank …