ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ – HUNTING TIME
28 October – 03 December
The predator tiger or sporty jaguar is watching us from the dense jungle like a frightened deer from the middle of the meadow. Still, with an earthquake of emotions, fears and shared expectations. Its gaze is the figure of his presence but it also betrays ours as prey. Being hunters of everything, that feeling is common. However, the quantity, the disorder, the luxuriance and the confusion involving the jungle or forest are magnified and it paralyzes us in wonder, it condenses, it happens, at a magical point, in two: those eyes that always scrutinize. Sometimes to discover an animal staring at you is to discover that you are lost, you are in a position of direct danger: the best show of Olympic nature.
Suppose that the beasts painted by Roberto Rodriguez were harmless and might even seem delicate at the scene, paralyzed or moving towards us. Our ways of manipulating nature are very sibylline and we turn the wonderful encounter into an idyllic matter. But what is fascinating is the marvel, which attracts and deceives us, even in so many hunting paintings, that is focused on the opposite ad paradiso.
If something is striking about these works is the way nature is approached (and everything: the landscape is a botanical construct) in planes protruding from the “natural” surface of the paint to evoke those strata of vegetation causing a very evocative, unusual spatial depth, dreamy even, both due to the universal and starry backgrounds as well as the overlapping layers, which such as the plants, are the best framework for the natura: the integrating place through which we see and are seen.
Because what is in the painting looks at us, and even more in these clearly synthetic works.
Direct works that get it right with their particular Asian psychedelia such as the construction of the landscapes. They are indebted to a time (and culture) that makes us think of Hawaii and surf, exotic pop, garage music and even skate, all taking us back to the timeless memory of a French man known as the customs officer Rousseau (who never saw the jungle but did see the beasts).