Dominican artist Freddy Rodríguez @ Diálogo 365

October 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

FR: The series of works “De la nada a la nada, painting about nothing” came out of my urgency to paint. While working on my commission for the Flight 587 Memorial, I did not paint for about two years. A few months later, my need to paint was so compelling that I started to paint on the only support I had readily available around my studio: birch plywood pieces. These pieces came in different shapes and irregular sizes. I’d never painted on plywood before and the idea of working on it was exciting to me. I started by leaving the pieces as they were shaped but started making cuts (drawing) with power tools into the plywood when I realized the potential of working with this support. It allowed me to do so many things I could not do working with canvas.
De la Nada a la Nada, Painting about Nothing #74
Acrylic on birch plywood, 51″ x 22″. 2008

FR: The whole idea of this new series was to express myself freely with paint. Not only was I using a new support for my art, but I also started to use new tools to make the work: jigsaw, drill, circular saw, and to move the paint around after pouring it on the surface, I used a hairdryer. I was very excited and happy with the results. In the past I used to do a lot of research about work I intended to make. Not anymore. These were paintings of nothing. However, after I had done more than fifty pieces I realized that content was getting into the work.  It appeared as autobiography: how in my pursuit of freedom in the Dominican Republic I had to be removed from there and sent to New York City for my safety.

De la Nada a la Nada, Painting about Nothing #75. Acrylic on birch plywood.    49″ x 22″, 2008

FR: The three pieces in this exhibition are about the violent act of removing someone from their natural environment and placing him/her in a new foreign environment. In this particular case, this is achieved  by cutting a piece of the panel and placing it in a different place, leaving a hole surrounded by bright colors, and setting the removed piece in a background of black, gray and white. The pieces that were removed are dripping with bright colors, the colors I brought with me from the Caribbean and the black, gray and white background is New York City when I arrived in the winter of 1963. I did not have family in New York, had not finished high school in the Dominican Republic and spoke no English, a very dark and scary world for me. This is my own interpretation of these works; the viewer can see “nothing” or something else.

De la Nada a la Nada, Painting about Nothing #76. Acrylic on birch plywood.    49″ x 24″, 2008

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You are currently reading Dominican artist Freddy Rodríguez @ Diálogo 365 at Diálogo 365: CARPE DIEM @ Art in City Hall.


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