Project: Zoomitography Rhizome at Aferro Art Gallery
Rodolfo Rojas-Rocha (1968) was raised in Costa Rica. He has a BFA in Advertising Design from Veritas University. Also, he has a BFA (1997) and License (1999) in Drawing and Painting from the University of Costa Rica and a Master of Art(2006) in Art Theory and Criticism from University of Costa Rica. Rojas-Rocha has worked as an painter and designer for fourteen years, and teach: Painting, Design,Drawing, Lettering and History of Design at Veritas University and The University of Costa Rica, where he has worked for ten years until now.
Rojas-Rocha has 18 solo shows an more than 80 national and international exhibitions (New York, Mississippi, Cartagena, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador among other countries), is a member of ACAV (Costarrican Visual Artists Association), and serves on the Ministry of Education, PROCESOS as an artistic education consultant. As Visual Studies researcher has given lectures at The Art Museum MARTE (El Salvador), Universidad de Nuevo León (México) ADAPES (El Salvador Fine Artists Association),Ganexa University, Panama and University of Panama. He is a member of Wardnasse Gallery, New York and Edu Art Gallery, Panama City. He has won First Place in “University Environment Contest”UCR (1994), Inter-university Biennale Contest and others recognitions, visiting artist at The University of Mississippi (EU).
Curator of Zoomitograhy Rhizome
Aferro Art Gallery
1.How would you describe the way you approach painting or your drawings?
I describe my work as the way to think about nature around me, related with the micro and macro world. Since the space of rain forest to the sky. The project is a mural drawing related with conceptual maps, hand made media and cognitive thinking and theory of art. These murals contain a wide variety of painting techniques, drawing, acrylic and mixed media in the space of the gallery.
2.How do you incorporate nature into your images?
I incorporate images as collage and rizomathic pads. My experimentation aproach is based on non-linear drawing pattern, microscopic a macroscopic world based on human anatomy, muscles, fiber of animal, vegetable and mineral elements, and ideological aspects of the costarrican mythological such as pre-Columbian symbols. Besides, I am interested into hybridized culture. It is an approach to the contemporary artistic image related with nature and rhizomatous links.
Micro and macroworld
Anatomy and muscles
Myth Urban space
Science and Art
3.Why do you use the rhizome as a central image?
Because, the rhizome is a pattern of live. A Rhizome is a fleshy stem that grows horizontally, as a food-storing organ, beneath the surface of the ground, and enables a plant to reproduce. The wall is the surface where I will draw the process as stem. Lines and forms will be visible and will grow as a plant in a forest. Culture means transform nature, I transform culture with a rhizomatic drawing. My drawing have fibers, nodes, buds, and tiny figures that will create a composition along the wall as expanded painting (Rosaling Krauss)
Rhizome and the interior space
4.What is up with your flow charts?
I use conceptual maps to think forward about my creative process, wich can help me to organize and visualize ideas and topics. A concept map is a special form of a web diagram for exploring knowledge and gathering and sharing aesthetic information. In my work drawing a concept mapping is the strategy employed to develop Art. A concept map consists of nodes or cells as rhizomatic links, wich contain an image, words and lines. The links are labeled and denote direction with an arrow symbol related with muscles and organization structure. The labeled links explain the relationship between the nodes. The arrow describes the direction of the relationship and reads like visual sentence.
5.What will be the final outcome of the week spent in the gallery?
3.Lectures o workshops at Rutgers University.
4. Experience Newark Art Scene.
6.Will there be a performative aspect to your work?
I am interested in doing a performance that challenge the audience to think about the rhizoma drawing and consider about "what art is," related with Nature and action behavior. I would like to improvise and incorporate sounds while I am drawing. The performance might be a series of intimate gestures taken from action drawing.
A Micro/Macroscopic look at the world of Rodolfo Rojas-Rocha
by Donna Rae Kessinger
P.O. Box 30325 NY, NY 10011
Rodolfo Rojas-Rocha and I met at an art opening at the Miami Art Center (800 Lincoln Road Gallery) during Art Basel-Miami Beach 2007. He is a prolific painter, professor and community educator. Rojas-Rocha (1968) was raised in Costa Rica and he has had 18 solo shows and more than 90 national and international exhibitions (New York, Mississippi, Cartagena, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador among other countries), is a member of Costarrican Visual Artists Association (ACAV), and serves on the Ministry of Education and PROCESOS as an artistic education Consultant. Remarkably, seven months from Art-Basel, I found myself exploring the Arts and Culture of San Jose, Costa Rica. I spent ten days meeting with contemporary Costarrican Artists in local galleries and in their studios. I quickly found myself in a world that appears quite different from mine on the surface, but when it comes to being Artists, we are of the same heart.
I asked Rodolfo to describe his upcoming mural / drawing project scheduled at the Media Project Space, Gallery Aferro in Newark, New Jersey, Zoomitograhy Rhizome:
I am interested in doing a performance that challenge(s) the audience to think about the rhizome drawing and consider ‘what art is’…I would like to improvise and incorporate sounds while I am drawing. The performace might be a series of intimate gestures taken from action drawing.
The installation will be a combination of conceptual maps, handmade media combined with cognitive thinking, theory of art, performative elements, along with innovative lighting techniques.
When asked to describe his work he replied, (It is) the way to think about nature around me, related with the micro and macro world. Since the space between rain forest to the sky.
Rojas-Rocha incorporates non-linear and rhizomatic images in collage with relationships and patterns cultivated from nature. He works in oil, acrylic, mixed media and site-specific drawing layered with natural imagery found in the rain forest. A common theme in his art is the examination of a simultaneous microscopic and macroscopic reality that is based on human anatomy, muscles, fiber of animal, vegetable and mineral elements, along with ideological aspects of the Costa Rican mythological, including pre-Columbian symbols. His works on canvas bring to mind the early biomorphic paintings of Terry Winters, while crossing the territory between human anatomy, nature and Costa Rica mythologies. His paintings explore a deep exchange of color taken directly from the palette of the Costa Rican Landscape.
Rojas-Rocha is not afraid to use applied technology in his work, whether in the classroom or exhibiton space. He employs 3-D Google Maps teach Design History alongside his Janson, Art History Book, and the Metropolitan Museum’s Timeline of Art History;http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/.
He pulls the combined media together to bring innovative methods of learning to his students. This reflects his approach to his own art. He uses conceptual maps to think forward about his creative process, in order to help better organize and visualize ideas, or topics. A conceptual map is a special form of a web diagram for exploring knowledge and gathering and sharing aesthetic information.
Rodolfo: In my work drawing a concept mapping is the strategy employed to develop Art. A concept map consists of nodes or cells as rhizomatic links, which contain an image, words and lines. The links are labeled and denote direction with an arrow symbol related with muscles and organization structure. The labeled links explain the relationship between the nodes. The arrow describes the direction of the relationship and reads like a visual sentence.
Rojas-Rocha adds, I am interested in hybridized culture… an approach to the contemporary artistic image. Culture means transform(ing) nature; I transform culture with a rhizomatic drawing. My drawings have fibers, nodes, buds, and tiny figures that will create a composition along the wall. The rhizome is a pattern of life…a fleshy stem that grows horizontally, as a food-storing organ, beneath the surface of the ground, and enables a plant to reproduce. The wall is the surface where I will draw the process as stem. Lines and forms will be visible and will grow as a plant in a forest
Rodolfo Rojas-Rocha’s solo Exhibiton in Gallery Aferro’s New Media Project Space will open the last weekend of October in 2009, and will correspond with, The Open Doors Artist's Studios and Available Space Tour, an annual event organized by the Newark Arts Council. The Tour features a number of curated and juried exhibitions featuring Art from Newark and surrounding areas while showcasing available artists' space; performance art. Check outhttp://www.aferro.org and www.newarkarts.org, for workshops and related events. Also see Rodolfo’s website http://www.rojasrocha.com for images of his work and updated exhibiton information. Gallery Aferro can be found at 73 Market Street, located in Downtown Newark. Newark has a rapidly growing art scene that is less than thirty minutes from Manhattan by train, and is within walking distance to the world famous Iberian culinary delights of the Portuguese / Spanish neighborhood known as the Iron Bound.
*Donna Rae Kessinger is a working Artist and Curator, based in the New York Metro Area, whose focus is mainly on projects that encourage collaboration between emerging artists and communities, resulting in a marriage of art and commerce in the form of a possible intervention / performative work, public art project, or traditional gallery exhibition.*
UNA MIRADA AL MUNDO DE LAS PARADÓJICAS
Catalogo de la Exposición Rhizomatic Drawing.
Aferro Art Gallery
Rodolfo Rocha se perfila como un artista innovador en Costa Rica al establecer una simbiosis entre el arte, la tecnología y la ciencia. Con sus representaciones visuales de cuerpos microscópicos asume una mirada hacia objetos que, invisibles desde una percepción normal, pasan desapercibidos para el ojo humano. Convierte ciertas partes del cuerpo humano, como por ejemplo las manos, en ‘organismos microscópicos’ captados por la lente de un microscopio.
Sus representaciones, tanto de las texturas de los organismos de la naturaleza visible como de la microscópica, resaltan la complejidad de las estructuras y de las superficies de estos organismos. Los organismos microscópicos adquieren una materialidad desbordante. Se convierten en formaciones próximas al mundo geológico, vegetal y animal. Al mismo tiempo, lo cósmico deviene microscópico, próximo al mundo celular. Sus composiciones expresan el mundo alternativo que existe debajo del mundo visible de las apariencias.
Las formas naturales resultantes se asemejan a formaciones míticas, primigenias, apreciadas por el artista desde una mirada tecnológico-científico que, al mismo tiempo, le permite descubrir el alma y la espiritualidad que encierran. Este es un arte de las paradojas, típico de la post-modernidad.
Professor University of Costa Rica
Drawing process as Rhizome net. There is a video: