Rafael Soldi is a Peruvian­-born artist and independent curator based in Seattle (unceded Indigenous land of the Coast Salish peoples). He uses video, photography, installation, text and performance to reflect on masculinity, language, immigration, violence, and memory, informed by his queer, Peruvian identity. Rafael weaves his personal history with collective memory to explore how gender expectations are encoded—and can be subverted—within language and childhood games. Recent works index a type of masculinity largely governed by a violence that barely conceals an urgent need for intimacy and connection.

His text-based works center moments of fluidity and dissonance in the bilingual experience that reveal the gendered power structures built into language and the slipperiness of meaning. Rafael probes states of in-betweenness—especially as it occurs across tongues—providing nuanced insight into immigrant identity while also offering a rich metaphor for queer experience.

Rafael has exhibited internationally at the Frye Art Museum, Frost Art Museum, Griffin Museum of Photography, CLAMP, The Print Center, Museo MATE, Filter Space, and Burrard Arts Foundation, among others. He has received support from the The Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, The Northwest Film Forum, Puffin Foundation, smART Ventures, Artist Trust, 4Culture, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and Center Santa Fe. He has been awarded fellowships at MacDowell, Bogliasco Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, and PICTURE BERLIN. He was a 2022 finalist for the Seattle Art Museum’s Betty Bowen Award.

His first monograph, Imagined Futures / Futuros Imaginarios (Candor Arts), and CARGAMONTÓN (self-published), were both published in 2020.

His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Finer Arts, Houston, Tacoma Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, King County Public Art Collection, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Rafael’s work has been reviewed on ARTFORUM, The Seattle Times, The Boston Globe, Photograph Magazine, The Seen, Art Nexus, and PDN. He is the co-founder of the Strange Fire Collective, a project dedicated to highlighting work made by women, people of color, and queer and trans artists; and co-curator of the High Wall, a yearly outdoor video projection program that invites immigrant artists and artists working on themes of diaspora and borderlands to intervene the facade of a former immigration center building in the heart of Seattle.

Rafael holds a BFA in Photography & Curatorial Studies from the Maryland Institute College of Art.


+1 301.908.4255
Seattle, WA





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