Antonio Rael

Dulce vida

Fond memories of the "sweet life", one that is full of innocence and simplicity. The magical Mexican desserts that spread love from child to child, and memories of my childhood. The delicious world of flan, pan dulce, cajeta, galletas, churros, leche, paletas, limonadas, and aqua frescas. A time when our taste buds only remember the sweetness of life, free from the worries of life's struggles. Welcome to the world of a Mexican child who's so proud of his lack of Fat-Free experiences.

La vida eterna

La vida eterna depicts the transformation, cycles and life forces with a Mexican twist. It contains surreal elements and symbols that remind me of life changes, movement, regeneration, escape, reconstruction, metamorphosis, and life's physical changes. The physicality of life is left behind and enters the spiritual world of eternal life. The idea that we are all one and become the same after the physical world. The elements of life including earth, nourishment, heat, water, wind that create our world and help us determine our path into the surrealistic afterlife. It symbolizes elements that encompass our life and let us create our present world and develop our eternal existence.


La tierra del cielo

La tierra del cielo combines the image of the angel as imagery from spirituality, as opposed to organized religion. A universal symbol, the angel along with it overlooking the earth acts as a guardian to all people. It also combines the bright colors to evoke a cultural place which has latino roots. The stoicism of the angel and its ethereal qualities capture feelings of being protected and that of a guardian.

Amor y la luz

Amor y la luz depicts a solid relationship. The light that still flickers within our hearts while the partner is in the "flight" of love, never turning to temptation, but signifying passion, trust, commitment, and the delicacy of love and life. A person in love is like a heart that floats and something delicate inside of the person is turned on and creates a beauty within that illuminates.

La botanica

La botanica signifies artifacts that represent a place that cures the heart, love, money problems, illness and overall conflicts of life. It represents a belief in miracles, a cultural legacy of hope, a tradition of the unknown with a mix of religion and voodoo. Swarms of people use the objects such as the dozen eggs and are looking for a cure from the "healers" who appear to have some special connection to the spiritual world of saints.

La fiesta

La fiesta represents a backyard celebration about to begin. With Tia Coti and Tia Fermin enjoying the beginning dance at our cousin's Quinciniera. The papel picado, traditional décor, and the piñata in the background soon to be destroyed and discarded by the company that will populate this quaint East LA back yard.

El mariachi

El mariachi represents to me the men or women who work so hard to entertain at most latino parties and who share their talents for a small nominal fee. The lines on this gentleman's face and his age tell us of his wisdom, experience and love for music. He has just finished a few sets and he sits for a moment to catch his breath. He is a cultural icon for all of us, and every year my own mother gets a treat as we hire a few for her birthday.