Chicago native Raul Ramirez, better known as Rawooh in a unique individual. With over a decade of experience in both street and fine art, 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.”