Ph.D., Theologian

Rafael Soriano | The Artist as Mystic

“The work of the Cuban-American artist Rafael Soriano represents a retrieval of the iconomorphic or the iconic gaze, in twentieth-century art (alongside, I would submit, the work of such artists as Rothko, Rouault, Reinhardt, Lam, Matta, and Tamayo).  Indeed, the evolution of Soriano’s artistic style from his early geometric abstraction to his signature, more mature style after the 1980s exemplify—within his own œuvre—precisely this transition to iconomorphic art.

Soriano’s paintings refuse to surrender to estrangement or exile: they will not allow us to remain mere observers standing at a distance. Instead, his colorful, riveting shapes and figures beckon us to yield to our yearning so that we may discover there—at the heart of our very longing—the Light which makes communion possible.  In those many dark nights spent in his Miami studio, Soriano discovered and was captivated by the Light he so powerfully depicts in his paintings. By sharing that experience with us, he invites us to do the same.”

Roberto Goizueta, Ph.D. served as the Margaret O’Brien Flateley Professor of Catholic Theology at Boston College. The National Catholic Reporter has named him one of the ten most influential Hispanic-American educators, pastors, and theologians.

“Where the Intimate and the Cosmic Converge: Art as Icon,” Rafael Soriano | The Artist as Mystic, (Chestnut Hill, MA: The McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, 2017), 81 & 84.