Victor Rodriguez is a self-taught Mexican painter who lives in Brooklyn, New York, and whose work is usually called "hyperrealist," a label he rejects completely.
In the early 90s, Víctor Rodríguez began painting what could be called "photorealism" as a response to the neo-Mexicanism genre that was all the rage back then. His bold approach has now made him a very successful artist, although in Mexico his work is not as well known as in the rest of the world.
He pioneered the use of photography as a reference to create his paintings, but, as he is quick to point out, his paintings are not mere copies of the photos, since this would be "boring" and "nonsense."
His preferred medium is acrylic on canvas and his works seem more theater montage than panting. Although the paintings themselves started out as pictures, none of them represent a real moment.
To make these paintings, he takes between 500 and 600 photos and uses them to paint on canvas, although he doesn't work directly on a print photo. His skill with the brush, however, has led many to think he is part of the movement known as hyperrealism.
But he doesn't believe his paintings are so close to reality as to deceive people, "I don't believe my work is hyperrrealism, for me that would be cheating, creating an illusion."
In a sense, he adds, his paintings are portraits, but in another sense, they are not: "I never begin with the intention of representing the individual features, or the internal psychology of the person that I am painting. It is a portrait because it looks like the person, but I think about the model as an actress performing a scene."
His realist images combine surreal and oneiric backgrounds, and every painting looks like a scene from a movie.
In an interview from 2017, he criticized hyperrealist artists who "pretend to be the owners of the truth and ignore so much. On the other extreme, you have the hyper-conceptual artists who consider these things purely decorative. I am a total outsider of the Mexican arts scene."
For him, “the aesthetic experience is an important part of life. Technique is just a medium to get there. I am interested in trying to represent this as an abstract issue; for me, color is about creating bonds made of memories, something that takes you back to specific moments of your childhood. To me this is like a therapy, something you have to get off your head; once it is done, I do not feel any attachment to it. As an artist, you have an incredible freedom to become something else."
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