Guest Curator

Guest Curator, Designer, Rafe Totengco

We’re thrilled to have designer, Rafe Totengco, guest curating an exclusive collection of art as part of our ongoing Guest Curator series. Read on to discover the role art plays in his life, first piece of art he bought, the artist he’d most like to meet, and the last great exhibition he attended.

(Image: Rafe Totengco)

How do you describe your personal style?

An eclectic mix of patterns, colors and prints.  Classic old-school staples with a healthy dose of ethnic accents.

Tell us what role art plays in your life?

I’ve been drawing since I was a child but unfortunately, I never learned how to paint.

What do you collect?

I collect figurative art and some art photographs.  I have some of H. Craig Hanna’s early work, some prints from Neal Oshima and illustrations by Stephane Manel.

What was the last museum or gallery you visited?

Cindy Sherman’s exhibit at Metro Pictures Gallery in Chelsea.  I loved that she was wearing Chanel couture!

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

Mark Rothko’s “White Center”.

Which artist would you most like to meet?

Cindy Sherman or Richard Serra.

How does art inspire you, your life, your job?

I’m fortunate enough to live near all the art galleries in Chelsea, so going on Thursday nights has become a part of my routine.  Whether it’s a photograph, a dance performance, or a painting, they are all potential references for inspiration.

What was the first piece of art you purchased?

It was an abstract pastel from a lesbian artist at the Porte de Vanves flea market in Paris.  She was raising money for a sex change operation.  I thought it would help her realize her dream in my own little way.

What does the art in your home say about you?

The art in my home shows my varied interests in different mediums and themes as well as my love for color and mixing styles.

If you could paint, draw, sculpt, or photograph, what skill would you most like to possess?

I’ve been drawing since I was a child but unfortunately, I never learned how to paint.  That’s a skill I would like to learn at some point in the near future.  It requires patience and that’s a virtue I don’t possess just yet.

What’s your preference?

Abstract or Realism? Abstract

Painting or Photography? Both

Museum or Art Galleries? Both

Color or Black + White? Color

Hirst or Hockney? Hockney

Picasso or Pollock? Picasso

Bacon or Baquiat? Both

Moma or Met? Both

LA or New York? New York

Learn more about Rafe.  Check out his website

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