Raphael Cornford lives and works in Bloomington, Indiana while fondly calling Oakland, CA home. Raphael works across print, installation, bookmaking, and digital media to create immersive, engaging, and challenging experiences. He is, in addition to showing regularly across the country, currently writing and drawing a comic, curating work at the recently opened NOISE Gallery / Residency, writing essays and short stories, and learning more about the wonders of cast iron cooking. He received a BA from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2011 and his MFA in Printmaking in 2016 at Indiana University, Bloomington. Raphael is an educator, artist, activist, occasional musician, and would prefer to have gone for a run today, all things considered. Raphael prefers being addressed as Raph, and very much considers himself a collaborative artist: contact him if you'd like.
My work examines the complexity of the process of identification--manifest via my immersion in pulp materials, from comics to science fiction covers and everything in between, that have so captivated me since childhood. I strive to re-contextualize or reconfigure our relationship to these subjects, exposing the cyclical cultural biases of contemporary narratives. I cement the connections between current events and their antecedents through the cartography and careful excavation of appropriated forms and materials. Beyond the relationship of viewer to subject, I look to reconfigure the viewer's relationship to the space and to one another. Whether or not I am working through direct appropriation, my work aims to illuminate the degree to which we are complicit in recurring systems of oppression and inequity. My recent tactics include books that offset pigment, catching readers "red-handed" and forcing engagement with conceptual/material ramifications. A corollary to this method is the joining of high and low, of “fine art” with commercial production. As an avid consumer of comics, memorabilia, and other “low” forms, those distinctions have always seemed to be me to be irrelevant, even counter productive. Why deny the affective power of the recognizable and everyday?