Rafael Coronel worked for twenty years in his father-in-law’s workshop. Since 1981 he lives in the city of Cuernavaca. On the occasion of his 80th birthday in September 2011, “Retrofutura” was inaugurated in Fine Arts, a sample of 109 works of which Rafael created 18 that same year. These works break with previous works by Colonel, because “within the same figuration, there are some decrepit characters. What is interesting is that it puts the focus on the end of the life of women and men, in old age; It is different because we were used to seeing redeemed old age; In these paintings, old age is presented as decadence, I had never explored that part ”, according to Juan Coronel Rivera, the artist’s son.
In 2011 different events were held to commemorate the eighty anniversary of his birth throughout the country. In the State of Zacatecas, where he is from, different exhibitions and cultural events have been held to celebrate the “maestro”, counting on his valuable presence in September. Two stages are distinguished in his work: the first figurative, until 1960, and the second (from 1970) abstract, characterized by a wonderful handling of color and light. His work reproduces pre-Hispanic motifs. His paintings have a melancholic sobriety, and include faces of the “last great masters”, often floating in a diffuse haze. His work exists both in museums in Mexico and abroad.