Raúl Torres Rojas was born in a small farm in the Province of La Pampa,
Argentina. In his large family (he was the ninth of eleven brothers and
sisters), many show a vocation for different forms of art: theater, painting,
music, and literature. Raúl was the only one that chose Art as a way of living,
but the gift and the sensibility were already in his blood, brought perhaps from
the South of Spain, from where his parents had come.
During the years of the Big Depression his family moved to the capital city, to Buenos Aires. There his father died, when he was still a child and there he finished his education. As a teenager, besides practicing several sports and working to help his family, he began to approach different forms of art. The fact of having to leave school at a rather young age, couldn't prevent him from getting a wide and varied education, as the results of a curiosity, an always present interest in live and in the world that remains, even now, unquenched. In spite of the fact that he was able to draw before he could read and write and, in his teens he found pleasure in drawing in his free time and he was already and by instinct a good sketcher and portrait painter his first incursion in arts was through music. He studied music and singing and made his first public presentations in the area of the popular music. We was part of a trio that performed traditional chamber music, with other student from the Singing School of the Colón Theatre. Also, for some time he acted as a tango singer in radio programs. In those days he made too some works as an actor in radio-theaters an even in very minor parts in films.
Finally he turned back to his first calling and acquired a solid formation in drawing and painting, from teachers much noted for their technical knowledge as Araceli Vázquez Málaga and Hector Cartier.
Many years later, art critics agreed in the easy, seemingly spontaneous structural steadiness and detailed composition, that probably has its basis in these years of study with professionals of impeccable technique. However the fantastic, whimsical freedom of the color, the themes and the transparencies in his work, are his very own and unmistakable signature and the expression of a fiercely vital personality. To find out and recreate beauty is a gift and a necessity of his that finds expression in his paintings.
However it was after his marriage, when he moved to Mar del Plata city, in 1951 that he decided to make a profession and a way of living of his art. Living by the sea, looking at the wide Atlantic beaches, the fishing boats and the magnificent winter skies, the elements that even now appear once and again in his landscapes, he began to develop his craft towards the path that it has followed to this date; a path that evolves all the time, without losing its esthetic roots.
From then on there were countless paintings, there were shows, contests and prizes and over anything else there was esthetic creation and elaboration.
By the beginning of the seventies he took intense participation in the institutional artistic activity of the city where he lived, so intense in fact that it visibly affected his own production, for the sake of encouraging and making better known the work of other artists, especially the younger ones of his adopted city. He was a founder and member (with the number 2 membership card) of the Mar del Plata's Fine Arts Association and its first secretary for two years though he afterwards declined to propose himself for the Association presidency.
This was a time of intense cultural activity: the Association organized "salones" (collective shows), contests, courses and workshops. They also came up with some unusual promotion activities. For example, during a season, under the motto "The artists paint for their people", the Mar del Plata painters, some of them with a national name, painted in the main squares and the esplanade and even in the fishing quay, in Sundays, so that their fellow citizens could know them, see them working and ask questions and begin a dialog with the artists of their city. All this activities were a strong encouragement for the young painters and an opportunity to call some attention on the less known of them. There was a strong support from the colleagues and the local communication media. The press, radio and TV organized interviews, panels and made a wide promotion of the different activities. The enthusiasm and the dedication of Torres Rojas were essential in this development. In fact, when an important international conference about water was organized in Mar del Plata he was selected to represent the cultural activities of the city. This included an apparition in a documentary film presenting the city and a long interview in his home and his studio that described the man and the painter for a big audience.
Eventually he left aside all this public activities in order to focus on the development of his artistic work, his style, and the particular colors that compose his vision of the world. This development continued for years. The only interruption in his career was due to the death of his wife in 1987. It took him nearly two years to resume the work of his life.
In 1989 he move back to Buenos Aires, the city of his youth. A year after that he married again and began his relationship with the firm Cambridge, Christner and Weiss, that were to be the ones to introduce his work to the US market. From then on his production took a more pressing rhythm, a dynamics that it had never had before.
From 1973 to this date he had presented about sixty (60) individual shows a number of shared ones in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and U.S.A., in the galleries "Palatina", "América" and "Pozzi" of Buenos Aires, "Guignard" and "Bolsa de Arte" of Porto Alegre (Brazil), "Portal" of Sao Paulo (Brazil), "Frank J. Oehlschlaeger" and "Chasen Gallery" of Sarasota (U.S.A.).
Torres Rojas had also been, and still is, a poet. His poetry is tinted with emotion but it shows a complete command over images, as complete as the command over them that appears in the strokes, planes and transparencies of his paintings, that are of course, far more numerous and well known. Perhaps the poetry is in the way he looks, in his perception the world, that he express, he gives to others in his work. The intensity, the love for life in that gaze changes the images and allows us to see the world in a way in which we could never see it by ourselves.
That's what Art is.