HORACIO RODRIGUEZ / Subversive Souvenirs
October 16, 2019 – January 24, 2020
Horacio Rodriguez makes work about the many borders he has crossed in his life. As a product of multiple cultures and identities, he uses his art as a vehicle to explore personal narrative through memory, and psychological and physical borders. He creates a hybrid conceptual framework using objects and symbols synonymous with pre-Hispanic and Mestizo culture, and the seductive visual language of Western dominant culture – thus mimicking his own layered identity.
Header image: Bad Hombre (con las flores), Horacio Rodriguez
Rodriguez takes inspiration from the Chicano Artists of the 1970’s and 80’s, the Mexican Muralists of the 1920’s, and the indigenous cultures of the Americas. He is a champion of the outsider and a child of the 1980’s, incorporating the iconography and neon-colored materialistic symbols of his childhood into his work.
His creative process involves consecutive firings to build up multiple layers on the surface of the clay. Projected imagery and photography coexist with slip-cast ceramic pieces infused with original and appropriated imagery. This hybrid mix of media and techniques approximates the unique, often contradictory, spirit of the border aesthetic. He applies the latest in digital scanning and printing technologies with centuries-old Pre-Colombian artifacts and ceramics processes to create a series of slip-cast canvases that explore issues such as immigration and migration, cultural appropriation, identity, and revolution.
About the Artist
Horacio Rodriguez is an artist and educator originally from Houston, Texas. He received an MFA in Ceramics in 2016 from Montana State University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Redlands in 1997. He spent time travelling throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, immersing himself in the culture, language, and food of his ancestors. For a decade he taught art, digital graphics and ceramics at Chavez High School on the East side of Houston, working primarily with the immigrant communities that had inspired him during his travels. He was awarded the Morales Teaching Fellowship from the University of Utah and moved to Salt Lake City to teach and further expand his studio practice.
Horacio’s selected exhibitions include Contemporary Clay at Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Site Lines at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, (Un)Invited Collaborations with my Ancestors at Finch Lane Gallery, and best of show in the international exhibition Clay on the Wall sponsored by Texas Tech University and LH Underwood Center for the Arts. Horacio is a member of the Board of Directors for Mestizo Institute of Culture and Arts (MICA), curates for Sugar Space Arts Warehouse, and is co-curating Looking for America in Salt Lake City, UT. He is currently an Artist in Residence at Utah Museum of Contemporary Arts. www.hellohoracio.com