Soto, Jesus Rafael

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    Jesús Rafael Soto was born on June 5, 1923 in Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela, an old colonial town on the edge of the virgin forest on the banks of the Orinoco.
    He was the eldest son of Emma Soto and Luis García Parra, a violin player, who were to have four other children.

    While working to make a contribution to the family’s upkeep, he went to primary school and, when he was about twelve, began to learn the guitar. It was also at this time that he began to copy reproductions of paintings he found in magazines, books and almanachs. At the age of sixteen he became a poster painter for the movie theaters in Ciudad Bolívar.

    When I was eleven I began to make a living doing lettering and other odd things like store signs (…)
    Then I got a job painting posters for a movie theater; I could do as many as fifty a day, but at the same time I took the liberty to paint movie characters to advertise the big features
    . ( Soto, quoted by Rafael Pineda, ” Jesús Soto, el artista-mecenas de Ciudad Bolívar “, Imagen,Caracas, n° 26, 14-21 décembre 1971, p. 8.)

    He came into contact with a group of surrealist students who were publishing in the local press and who encouraged him to take up a career as an artist.

    For more information about Jesus Rafael Soto please visit his website by clicking HERE.