Rafael studied contemporary arts at the San Francisco Art Institute. It was during these years of Interdisciplinary studies, where the comprehension of abstraction was introduced, and fostered under the guidance of a long line of Bay Area abstract thinkers such as Carlos Pedro Villa, Bruce McGaw, Dewey Crumpler, George Kuchar, Jeremy Morgan, John Roloff, Sam Tchakalian, Henry Wessel.
His long term mentor Carlos P. Villa who was warm hearted, open and stern in his teachings, pushed Mr. Vieira to think about every action, 'what's your intention for making these lines, Carlos would ask him,' his teachings redirected Rafael's frame of mind, he began contemplating all his actions, having to go beyond aesthetics when producing works.
Alongside his art, the ideologies of 'social sculpture' were introduced during Villa's ground breaking class, 'Worlds in Collision,' held inside a NPO, The Luggage Store Gallery -SF.
Key concepts involving community development through the use of Art was instilled, motivating Rafael to work with Non Profit Organizations, such as Art With Elders.org, MCCLA, and volunteering for underserved communities throughout the Bay Area, and Miami.
"The abstract forms within my paintings represent the complex archaic cultural thread that has been interwoven into human constructs over centuries. We have continuously utilized and coexisted with forms that can be found in caverns and tomb walls like those in Newgrange, Ireland, 3200bc, and have continuously marked and engraved the surfaces of every city’s framework. My work serves to document and support broader theories concerning the origin of myth as persistent components of our social conditioning and experience." Vieira
"There are ancient secrets within, a primitive force that controls much of the life that we think that we are living consciously.” Edward Hall
“Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, myths of man have flourished. Myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation.” Joseph Campbell
“What are the disagreements of properties between flatness with the irregularities of a rough space? Man eventually embraced the smooth and flat in the world, creating the engineering marvels.” Benoit Mandelbrot