Raphael Truffi Bortholuzzi is a Brazilian visual artist who works with digital art and hyper-realistic miniature sculpture around the world. He was born in São Paulo, in 1981 and from an early age showed an interest in art, drawing, and sculpture. Raphael began exploring digital art at the age of 15 and started using the computer to create 3D and 2D works.
Earlier in his career, Raphael worked in digital art to create artwork for movies, games, technology products, and more. Then he moved to London - England, where he started working as a graphic artist and art director. His work has been recognized internationally, leading him to work with companies worldwide from large corporations to independent projects.
After years of working with digital art, Raphael decided to return to Brazil to dedicate himself to his work in hyper-realistic miniature sculpture. He has already created several works of art for galleries, exhibitions, museums, and VIP collectors around the world. Raphael is an extremely versatile artist, who manages to create works of art that mix technology and digital art with the most traditional techniques of sculpture. His work is internationally admired and recognized for his ability to create works of art that blend reality and fiction.
As an artist, I have always taken inspiration from my surroundings and places where I visited or taken photographs. Of course now days with the Internet is much easier to get inspiration and ideas to get going without leaving your home.
When it comes to personal projects, my mind goes crazy on the various places or memories I ever visited, but more importantly I believe it is the care to recreate a proper atmosphere of the time or location. I like to try to recreate something that had its own history and was put aside for a while. I like these styles because they have so many details when it comes to textures and colors. When a client requests a themed diorama, I try to follow faithfully their characteristics in reproduction.
Well, classic cars and vintage items fascinate me, that's another hobby for me, collecting and restoring them. Since childhood I always had this obsession with collecting old and rare things . In my house I was always surrounded by these things because my father and uncle always buying and restored things. My father is an enthusiast and collector of classic cars and antiques, so that I believe to be the main source for teaching me the history and beauty of these things.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q: Where does Grandmondo ship?
A: We ship worldwide.
Q: How much is shipping?
A: Each project is discussed prior with the client for shipping costs, it may vary from location to location. All orders of or above U$5000 (excluding the free-shipping offers) or more are being shipped free! We can ship via FedEx, DHL, and other local carriers.
Q: Do you make another type of work?
A: Yes, I do Art Direction / Motion Graphics and Stop-motion commissioned work, please contact me using the contact page to discuss further.
Q: How can I contact Grandmondo?
Q: What is your Instagram account?
A: You can follow me @grandmondominiatures
Q: How do you make these?
A: The making of each miniature or project starts with a lot of research on the subject. I do make a collection of old photographs of elements that are common to see in my work, such as rusty patterns, architectural plans, and vegetation. The next step after the long hours of research is to go for the mock-up version, sometimes made out of paper or cardboard. Then I begin to put my magic into the final piece. Only then I can add the final effects such as lighting or other structural needs. This whole process can take several weeks or even months. I try to capture most of the details in general.
Q: How did I get started doing this?
A: When I started back in 2010, I had no idea it was this world full of details and pinpoint accuracy. When I came home from my day job, I would go to my studio and start making models all night until the morning, then it was time to return to the routine of daily work. It did not take long to figure out that I was having a lot more fun in the studio than in my day job. In 2014, I decided to take the hobby into a more professional manner and launch the site to show you my work. I graduated in Cinema, VFX and Animation as a 3D Designer in 2008.
Q: Why do you think you’re drawn to the types of environments you create?
A: The rustic and abandoned places I like to re-create are almost something peculiar from what I see around other artists. Personally, I think those types of environments involve so much atmosphere, and rustic and abandoned places that usually I end up creating are always full of life and soul somehow. For me, these scenes represent pieces of history that somehow were forgotten or left behind by their characters. Each diorama or environment is meticulously thought out and studied months or even years before its own production. Always I found beauty in places like these, so for me such places are static, but at the same time seeing all the stories that have passed there gives me a sense of motion.
I put so many details in it that I like people to find some hidden detail. Like the door is slightly open, so you can see the back room and the only way to see that is if you stare into the piece. What I am trying to do actually is to give you scenery, lighting, and enough props that in your own mind you can come up with a narrative. I never feature human figures, except for small animals or some art posters with people. I think that putting human miniatures on the scenes advertises that they are not real, pulling the focus of the overall experience to the piece.
Q: Are you models for sale?
A: Most of my models are for sale. They are all one of a kind and I do not reproduce once sold, not a big fan of the production line. Custom models can also be commissioned. This means you have full control of what you want, at what scale, and at what budget. Do not hesitate to contact me, all estimates on projects are free.
Q: What is the hardest thing to make? How long does it take to finish a project?
A: Almost all the works using miniature techniques are complex projects. When working with scale and actual measurements, it is necessary to stick to these measures. Architectural buildings are always a challenge. Personally, I believe that the greatest difficulty is to simulate an environment, which existed in the past or still exists today. The positioning of elements should be as natural as the rust texture. Rust has so many variations and colors that can say how long that piece was left behind. And like almost everything is practically done by hand, I'd be lying if I told you that there is something easy to do. Each sculpture takes 3 months to 1 year and a half, and I make everything from the smallest brick to the tips of cigarettes left on the streets. It’s an art by the millimeter.
Raphael creates mixed media art that tells a story behind each paint stroke and in every object that he may have created. Exhibited in Queen Victoria Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Saatchi Gallery, Groninger Museum, Lotte Museum of Art, Beinart Gallery, and SESI Lab, featured on Hi-fructose, Vice, Creators Project.