South American Art Imports

Artist Biography

                                                          Raúl Peláez-Prada:  Painter

Artist Raúl Peláez-Prada was born May 7, 1976 in Princeton, Illinois to Raúl Peláez-Antelo and Marta Prada-Plata. Life has offered him many journeys, and he has made homes of Colombia, Bolivia, Mexico and the United States. Academics and intellectual 
curiosity were always priorities in his family, and along that vein, Peláez-Prada received his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature in 2000 from The University of Texas at Austin. In 2009 he obtained his Juris Doctor from St. Mary’s School of Law.

Despite his extensive scholarly work, Raul always believed that the beauty of the world and its peoples could not be ignored. Raul followed his passions to become the dynamic and admired artist that he is today.

My father urged me to think for a living rather than use my hands, but I am useless without my hands. It all comes out my fingertips. I can't think without my hands.” 
– Raúl Peláez-Prada


"Corocoro," the name chosen for the work, finds its roots in legend, myth, folklore and personal experience:

Legend  (Definition: Legend - An event, person, work so great that it staggers the imagination:

Corocoro was a village in the Rio Mar Valley of the Amazon where Ecuador, Peru  and Brazil cradles 
Colombia.  Due to its distance from greater populations Corocoro succumbed to forget ("olvido") and 
became lost to greater populations.   Corocoro's existance was documented in La Realesa Expandida by Leopoldo Barrios .


Corocoro's existance and ruin has been supported by eye-witness accounts. immortaized in folk music and folktales.  There are people who claim to have journeyed there.  There are people who claim to have seen its ruins. 

Personal Experience:  

Imagination was my friend's everthing and all.  He lived the spirit of what could be done now against a   fantastic context of a place that existed.  The name also finds its roots in both the “call and response“ traditions of South American music and the literary genre of magic realism. Visual calls for critical response generate a rhythmic dialogue 
that lead the viewer into unpredictably inspiring discourse. The sustained thematic travel between the realms of the “fantastic” and the "real” blur boundaries of compartmentalized imagination. Voices of critical exchange lead to those footpaths connecting actuality and the imaginary. It is there where artworks cease to be things and collectively assume the nature of a single place; Corocoro. 

Raul's work is ever evolving, yet consistently provocative. Not only in what the work depicts, but the myriad of emotions and thoughts it inspires. I have had the honor to watch his evolution as an artist, and each new stage of expression brings new surprises that leave the viewer contemplative, convicted, and drawn into the cycles of the world his heart has created.

-Robert A. Schaezler
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