on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

On Exhibitions

Reflections on Artistic Inspiration

Rafael Rojas

Following a career as an engineer, researcher and university lecturer he made a dramatic change of career as a nature and landscape photographer, his true passion and vocation. Today, he travels extensively in search of those fleeting moments when light and land combine to create something very special. His work has been awarded in many international photography competitions, including the prestigious Master Hasselblad Award, several First Prizes in the International Photography Awards (USA), Px3 Prix de la Photographie de Paris and Px3 People's Choice (France), Nature’s Best (USA), International Conservation Awards (USA),


We have just arrived from a visit to Paris where we had the great chance of visiting great retrospectives of Irving Penn and Paul Gauguin at the Grand Palais and a great collection of Modern Art from the MoMa at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, which included, amongst other, photographic work from artists like Edward Weston, Alfred Steiglitz and Eugène Atget.

During three intense days, I spent hours in front of masterpieces, carefully observing from far and close, reading accompanying texts, thinking, making connections with other work I had seen, texts I had read and thoughts I had had. I did this for long hours that felt like minutes until my feet ache. Like on many other exhibitions I have attended, these days opened the doors of my mind and soul to a cascade of increasingly complex levels of thoughts and feelings, leading to a profound inspiration that spurred an urge to create on my own.

These visits are not easy, at least for me. One not only needs to put aside the time, money and the energy to visit these grand museums. Taking a few days off, travelling to a major city (places I intend to avoid most of the times) and rubbing shoulders with lots of people is not the idea I have on an inspiring trip. Personally, and particularly when developing my artistic endeavours, I tend to favour the utmost privacy, solitude, quietness, silence and introspection that I can only find when I am totally alone lost in my thoughts and feelings, very often away from civilisation and lost in the natural or rural landscape.

And yet, I have found exhibitions to become a central part to the inspiration I obtain from other artists and a very effective way of growing and maturing as an artist myself, even if I have to put up with many of the not so pleasurable things they bring with them. 

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