Chicago native Raul Ramirez, better know as “Rawooh” is an artist we’ve had our eyes on over the past year. Our first introduction to him personally was through his long time friend and artist ReviseCMW. After getting to know him for a bit, you will find that he’s an artist who is not motivated by money at all. What motivates Rawooh is creation. Even though he has over a decade of experience in the art world as both a street and gallery artist, he still considers it a “hobby.” By following his Instagram you can occasionally catch a glimpse of his personal life. You will find things, like a series of posted notes with phrases like “Hell Is Full Of Lovers” appear to effortlessly pour from his brain. Ideas come to him frequently and although it’s not always about making the final product, when he does finish a project… it’s stunning.
“I was known as the guy who drew in the middle of classes during grammar school. I would draw on the back of tests when I was done with them. It wasn’t until high school that I started picking up art books on anatomy and experimenting with different mediums.”
"The street art came into play around 2004. I use to spray paint mostly images of women on the sides of buildings. I approached painting techniques with the mindset of an illustrator and those two are completely different."
"The pieces you see while you’re driving down some Chicago streets have mainly been pieces that I painted for fun. I’ve been lucky enough to know some of the best artists around the city, who took me under their wing and invited me to paint alongside them on their walls. So I owe them a lot for giving me that opportunity.”
From Graffiti to Canvas
“I started to get invited to do gallery shows every now and then around the city in my mid 20s (around 2008). I will say that I’m an illustrator first and painter second, but at this point, I’m not even sure. It wasn’t until recently I started implementing aerosol as the only medium used in some of my canvas work. Mainly because I wanted to do pieces on a larger scale and challenge myself to also work within the parameters of a rectangle or square."
Using Found Objects
“I really like how the rawness and dirtiness looks in contrast against the women I paint on found wooden objects, such as crates. People also tend to purchase those pieces more. Maybe they want ‘authentic street art’ in their condo, so I gladly oblige. I’ll pick up anything I think would work as a canvas when I’m roaming the streets of Chicago.”
"Art is a hobby for me so I don’t have a ton of time to work on many projects. I usually get asked to do a commission or wall space here and there. I do however plan to throw a solo show sometime this year. I’ve always shown my work in a group setting, so it’ll definitely be a first for me. Stay Tuned.."