Depicting the scenes of the imaginary world and abstract forms of science fiction, Rafael Gerlach aka SatOne creates futuristic graffiti that expresses humanity and emotion through their organic shapes. His interesting approach opens up a new dimension in which graphic design, abstract art and illustration merge into the unified whole. Adopting the story as the most integral part of creativity, his pieces always have something to say. Non-figurative in the essence, whether or not obvious to the viewer, his images seem like captured moments of distorted reality. SatOne’s works have a strong resemblance to the visual forms of Futurism, emphasizing the dynamic interplay of divided surfaces, colors and shades.
Gerlach was born in la Victoria, Venezuela, but two years later, his family moved to Munich, Germany. His first interest in painting on the streets began when he was fifteen years old. His studies of graphic design brought him the job positions in various advertising agencies. Since 2003, he is a freelancer, doing illustrations for different media, as well as photography, design and murals. He also worked for companies as Adidas, Asics, Gravis, Burton Snowboards and Ford. His paintings have been exhibited numerous times and his murals are covering the walls around the world.
Considering painting on the streets as a great attraction for the artist, SatOne enjoys having a large audience and having spontaneous conversations with people. Choosing a ruined and abandoned buildings, it offers interesting combinations of surfaces for painting. He finds interesting the fact that all these works could disappear over the night if somebody decide to crash down those buildings, leaving the photos as the only evidence of their existence. On the other side, work in a studio has a totally different meaning, forcing the artist to deal intensely with himself. With a perfectionism as a driving force, he used to devote all of his free time to art. Recently, SatOne discovered that his development depends on his sense of freedom only.
Being a part of a group Graffuturism, a movement which tries to explore the commonality between the similar graffiti artists, he has met a lot of like-minded people who he now cooperates with. With extreme skill, SatOne merges geometric forms and non-figurative color fields into dazzling kaleidoscopes of both great dynamics and luminous intensity. Only at a distance does one recognize contours emerging out of the vibrant matrices that may then actualize into humanoid figures. Although futuristic and abstract, his characters possess organic forms and faces. His distinctive style uses visual language in a course between technocracy and imaginary world.
As an experimental artist, over the years SatOne continued to develop his interest in graffiti until it became a unique formal vocabulary that conjures up a landscape of science fiction and imaginary worlds. The figures in his work are futuristic and abstract, yet still express emotion and humanity through their organic forms and recognizable faces. His skillful mixture of a powerful graphic style with improvised abstract elements opens up dimensions in which graphic design, illustration and abstract art melt into an inseparable unity.
On the subject of writing graffiti, and his painting, SatOne states, “Painting on the street is a big attraction for us artists. Where else but on the street do we have such a large audience and such an unadorned form of dialogue? I cannot deny that it is a form of vanity. I also love that when writing on the streets, I have many conversations with nice people that are usually very honest and spontaneous. Outside, I also have a soft spot for old abandoned buildings or ruins. They often have a very exciting combination of different materials and surfaces. Also, the fact that these images are actually secret and no one ever sees them exerts a certain magic. This magic becomes even more apparent when the ruins are torn down and the art inside disappears with them. Photos are, and will be, the only evidence…
When I’m in the studio and alone, I must deal intensely with myself. My work lies in the artistic essence of being completely free and that is very important to me. What I need to learn now is a certain balance between myself as an artist and myself as a person. In the past, I devoted all of my free time to art. I drew almost pedantic and training techniques, just to be better. Perfection was my drive. Today I am pleased to be able to let go completely. I know that my development of a technique depends not on perfection, but of freedom.”