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Work / Graphic Design

Designer and art director Raquel Quevedo on the importance of leaving room for fantasy and experiments

Barcelona-based designer and art director Raquel Quevedo often pushes the nature and definition of her practice, turning 2D forms into sculpture, 3D structures into flat surfaces, and graphic elements into performance pieces. In Arte Insano, a series of posters and a zine made in collaboration with architect and designer Guillermo Santoma, for his performance of the same name, Raquel sought spontaneity over order in her design approach – reflecting the nature of the work.

“The posters were executed without a layout, allowing the elements to express themselves, and for there to be room for ‘the poetry that is read between the lines’, a description I draw from Quentin Tarantino’s film-making,” Raquel tells It’s Nice That. Each poster holds a statement, which Raquel describes as “a wink for those who read it”: ‘Insane Art’ is a Spanish pun of artesano, which means craftsman; ‘Branpussy’ is a sort-of mishearing of Brancusi; and ‘Mano de Santo’ means holy hand, and also represents Guillermo Santoma’s surname.

During the performance, Guillermo made a table, a lamp and a chair, and from the look of the photographs in Raquel’s zine, set a few things on fire. The Arte Insano zine is a record of the performance, with photographs by Adrià Canyameras: “Adrià took photos of the performance using flashes installed throughout the workshop space. Then, for the zine, I collected everything chronologically, in a simple design that focused on the elements of fire, matter and light”.

Although Raquel describes her approach to Arte Insano as being simple, it’s far from being a characterless reproduction – her work is both idiosyncratic and well-referenced, experimental and learned. Of her design philosophy, Raquel says: “It’s a mix of fantasy and experiments. I work with the idea: ‘Money makes me ugly. Mickey makes me happy’. Money is the industry, it’s the doctrines, programming and impositions of a brief, and the impossibility of working without money; Mickey is the fantasy, expressive freedom, the importance of the concept in design, experimentation, and finding happiness in self-expression”.

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Raquel Quevedo and Adrià Canyameras: Arte Insano

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Raquel Quevedo and Adrià Canyameras: Arte Insano

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Raquel Quevedo and Adrià Canyameras: Arte Insano

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Raquel Quevedo and Adrià Canyameras: Arte Insano

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Raquel Quevedo and Adrià Canyameras: Arte Insano

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Raquel Quevedo: Arte Insano

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Raquel Quevedo: Arte Insano

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