The Artist Who Will Seduce You Through Psychedelia And Punk

The Artist Who Will Seduce You Through Psychedelia And Punk

Avatar of Melisa Arzate Amaro

By: Melisa Arzate Amaro

February 23, 2017

Art The Artist Who Will Seduce You Through Psychedelia And Punk
Avatar of Melisa Arzate Amaro

By: Melisa Arzate Amaro

February 23, 2017

I visit and peruse art galleries many times throughout the year, and sometimes it is difficult to associate the images I have seen on the internet and their history, with the huge canvases hanging silently on the white concrete walls. As my footsteps echo, all I can hear in my head is a single word: "Trapped." 

The work of Victor Rodríguez is known for its sophisticated optical illusions. He doesn’t intend to create architectonic dimensions, like Pozzo or Tiepolo did. Instead, the meticulous brushstrokes and the almost photographic elements trick the eye with an apparent hyperreality. These outbursts of fantasy, introspection, and digression are linked to pop and punk, and in a way, it is an examination of the History of Art. 

Even the most experienced ‘Fine Arts’ critics fall for the traps of hyperrealism or photorealism. Critics are seduced by labels and thrive in classifying works of art into tidy compartments. Rodríguez once mentioned in an interview at the Ricardo Reyes Gallery, that some hyperrealists feel they own the ultimate truth while ignoring the rest. He added that in contrast, there’s a group called hyper-conceptual, whose art is solely related to design and visual arts.

The artist stated that, in the Mexican art scene, he feels like an outsider, since there’s no meeting point between these two groups. These are the typical people who invalidate or label something as bad art when they don't understand it, instead of trying to connect with it. “I recognize I don’t know everything. I like knowing, I like understanding. Contemporary art requires an effort from the spectator. It’s a challenge [...]. I don’t think painting should be outside contemporary art.” [1]

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The truth is that when it comes to Victor Rodriguez’s art, it's hard to win in a game of contemplation or canonical analysis for a very important reason: he’s a free artist that supports the legitimacy of painting as the mean to achieve an aesthetic experience for the spectator. “Painting is a media, a universal language that can be read at any level.” [2]

He has been influenced by Picasso and other modern artists of the early twentieth century such as Koons, Kippenberger, Richter, Polke, Oehlen and Rauch. Rodriguez’ start in the art world was linked to pop thanks to Ivan Karp, the first gallery owner in New York who dragged him into the business. While he may shy away from Mexican stereotypes and the nostalgia they embody, his esthetics are still linked to his home country. In his eyes, the present is the best historical moment and it has the power to be embedded in our memory. 

He sees himself as ascetic and stoic in both his personal and artistic life. This is reflected in the iconographic motifs and the semantics of his craft, which contains a latent, violent, and even cryptic power that’s waiting to perform a personal hermeneutic duty. The naturalism and realism are nets waiting to capture unsuspecting viewers in order to finally drag them through a pictorial surface filled with chromatic experimentations, cinematographic frames, postmodern iconography, and ontological transgressions. It isn’t a simulacrum of truth, but a construction of a reality that becomes seductive, abysmal, punk, and chromatically rich and dark.

Victor Rodriguez psychedelia punk art mexican folk-w636-h600

Victor Rodriguez composes his works based on iconographic motifs of the everyday and its values. The photographic elements and meta-pictorial references reflect the artist's thought processes. Through his work we return to our passionate, dark, and imaginative core where reality is symbolically built. [3] 

The artist enjoys being free from labels and prejudices. He remains outside of the mainstream and close to personal rituals, resulting in works of art strongly attached to the present moment. It's that intuitive, fabricated image where the spectator stands still and can gain access to their deepest, inner self. The esthetic experience is the catalyst, and where the huge size of the canvases plays a fundamental role in evoking an emotional response. 

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We are ultimately seduced by his esthetics. [4] As a worthy representative of postmodernism, his works are influenced by the seduction of the senses: it always prioritizes the almost organic and phenomenological reaction, not through tricks, but through the liberation of the self.

On this matter, the artist believes that the esthetic experience is a very important part. The technique is just a tool to achieve that aim. "through my appreciation for abstract geometry and colors, my aim is to create links with past memories." Rodríguez explains. "In my opinion, colors have something that takes me back to certain moments of my childhood, very specific moments that may not mean anything to you," he adds.

"I’m the only person who is satisfied when I make those decisions. It becomes a therapy to me, a form of catharsis; once I finish it, I no longer have a connection to it or any attachment. I have complete freedom, I can do anything I want, and for me that’s the most important thing. The artist has the immense freedom to become something else. It’s an introspective matter.” [5]

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The enormous cinematographic format, chromatically saturated and iconographically pop-punk have a level of intimacy that evoke excitement and freedom in equal measure. 

The postmodern, urban, and cosmopolitan artist creates a seductive visual net that reveals the most private part of himself and engages the public’s eye.

Victor Rodriguez psychedelia punk art artist-w636-h600

[1] Victor Rodriguez’s interview by Melisa Arzate Amaro. Mexico City, February 3rd, 2017. Not published.

[2] Ibidem

[3] Maffesoli, M. L'instant éternel.

[4] Lipovetsky, G. L'ère du vide. 

[5] Victor Rodriguez’s interview by Melisa Arzate Amaro. Mexico City, February 3rd, 2017. Not published.


Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards