Rafael Soldi

August 3 – November 15, 2016
Hoedemaker​ Pfeiffer
​6113 13th Avenue South, Seattle WA 98108

Rafael Soldi is a Peruvian­-born, Seattle-based photographer and curator. He holds a BFA in Photography & Curatorial Studies from the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has exhibited internationally at the Frye Art Museum, American University Museum, Griffin Museum of Photography, Greg Kucera Gallery, G. Gibson Gallery, Connersmith, PCNW, and Vertice Galeria, among others. Rafael is a 2012 Magenta Foundation Award Winner, and recipient of the 2014 Puffin Foundation grant and 2016 smART Ventures grant; he has been awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and PICTURE BERLIN.

His work is in the permanent collections of the Tacoma Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, and the King County Public Art Collection. He has been published in PDN, Dwell, Hello Mr, and Metropolis, among others. Rafael is the founder of Studio 126 in Seattle, and co-founder of the Strange Fire Collective, a project dedicated to highlighting work made by women, people of color, and queer and trans artists.

Life Stand Still Here

Seven years ago my partner disappeared. His disappearance lead me to an exploration of the most private spaces within me, my ‘innerness,’ the ability to regard myself abstractly. Life Stand Still Here is a conceptual manifestation and exploration of myself, my fears, and moments when life and its darkest facets can offer monumental symbolism. This work approaches loss with a dark, visually abstract lens through of sculpture, altered photographs and digital creations.

The title of this project is borrowed from Virginia Woolf, whose mastery of fragility and mystery in her writing influenced the way in which these works manifest visually. Woolf wrote in her journal, “the future is dark, which is the best thing the future can be, I think.” Many people accept the idea that each of us has a certain resolute innerness—a core of selfhood that we can’t share with others. Woolf was interested in the way we become aware of that innerness. The concept of our inner self is difficult to understand: it is so private, so internal, so visceral that it is very difficult to put into words.

I think this innerness is meant to stay that way, obscured. The visually ambiguous metaphors for pain and self-discovery in Life Stand Still Here open entry points for viewers to understand and connect to the work through the lens of their own experiences, the works are, in their own way, dark mirrors.


These images are an emotional exorcism of sorts, they represent my struggle to reconstruct a life without the very thing that I thought defined it. Before my relationship ended suddenly, it had become a catalyst for accessing a new way of making photographs, helping me define my own identity as a man. The breakup brought dramatic change to my work and I tapped into feelings that I never knew existed within me: panic, regret, fear and loss. This work chronicles the loss of the man I loved, and the importance of that relationship in defining my identity.