A week into his 18th birthday, Rey “Rson” Jaffet is already a promising local artist - and he’s still attending high school in the Miami-Dade public school system.
And this period in his life is what his art tries to capture, said the Miami Palmetto High senior. “It’s that point when you’re a teen but are maturing into adulthood,’’ he said.
Fittingly, many of his artwork is done with children’s colored pencils and spray paint.
Jaffet might be young but he’s an old hand at art. He sold his first piece in 10th grade for $5,000. It was a colorful three-panel African-themed work called New Horizon.
Next week, Jaffet will join thousands of older local and international artists who will have their artwork on display in Miami Beach and Wynwood as part of Art Basel week.
Several Jaffet pieces will hang at the 50 Shades of Art Show at the 1004 Gallery in Wynwood at 175 NW 23rd St.
Meet and greet with the artists will be from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and next Wednesday. His works sells for between $1,000 to $5,000.
Among the pieces showcased at the gallery is Jaffet’s award-winning self-portrait called Split Decision Within, which reveals inner struggle. “Through my art, I try to portray hardships, achievements and misunderstanding as it relates to the modern teenage lifestyle,” he said.
The Kendall resident recently won the prestigious 2012 National Scholastic American Visions Drawing Award, which honors outstanding pieces in the nation which are then displayed in Carnegie Hall in New York. He won for his self-portrait.
Jaffet’s work is also part of the 2012-2013 Art.Write.Now Tour that will visit Detroit, Virginia Beach, Kansas City and Fort Worth.
And it’s not his first time in the big art arena. His work was on display in Wynwood/South Beach during Art Basel 2011.
Jaffet's artistic style is described as “encompassing modern realism along with urban influences.”
Jaffet’s says he also works with oils, acrylics, mixed media, graffiti and designs sneakers.
Jaffet, who lives in Kendall, is the son of physical therapist parents; his father is an athletic trainer for the Miami Heat. Jaffet has the support of his family and two respected local artists — Miguel Paredes and Enrique "Sero" Cruz — who have taken Jaffet under their wing. “They’ve been wonderful to me,” he said.
Jaffet’s goal now is to win a scholarship to a prestigious art school.
“Then I want to be a full-time artist for the rest of my life,’’ he said.