Modern Vision without Excluding the Culture

July 15, 2009 at

By Bertha R. Santos
Translated by Erika Morales

Los Angeles, CA.- The shades of sunsets, contrasts, aromas, flavors and colors, that exist at the same time in Oaxaca –swinging within the essence of the indigenous communities and the modern world-, these have nurtured artist Walfred Rodriguez, whose works are filled with intense colors and surreal images that appear to exist in different dimensions.

Oaxaca, as reported by New York Times, was placed next to New York and Paris, as one of the thriving art cities in the world. To mention, Oaxaca is home to grand artists such as Rufino Tamayo, Francisco Toledo and Rodolfo Nieto, among many others that have not reached that level but are providing different art proposals.
“It’s said that Oaxacans carry the hue in their blood”, mentions artist Walfred Rodriguez, acknowledging that starting a career as a painter in Oaxaca, implies commitment and hard work. “It’s like being in the kitchen everyday and cooking up something new, experimenting with diverse materials while being aware of new ideals and finding our voice and language”.

Upon the completion of his studies at the school of Fine Arts at the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juarez (UABJO) and the studio classes at Rufino Tamayo, Walfred Rodriguez has focused on space cosmos and even though it’s difficult to materialize abstract ideals of the universe with everyday events, in just 3 short years, he has produced more than 100 pieces of art, which have been purchased by collectors in Mexico and other countries.

A reoccurring theme in Rodriguez’s work is outer space, an ideal that the artist attributes to his Oaxacan roots and a cosmic connection with the indigenous peoples.
In opinion of Walfred Rodriguez, it is important that the artist has something different to say, in order to be able to combine his artistic expression with production. In regards to the previously mentioned about the environment in Oaxaca being highly competitive given by the amount of artist that exists, Rodriguez confirms that he experiments with painting since talent is based on constant practice.

In his short trajectory, Walfred Rodriguez has exhibited in well-known galleries in Oaxaca, Cancun, Sonora and Mexico City. In Fresno, CA, 2007, he exhibited at the Fresno Art Museum, known for it’s contemporary art. Also, exhibiting in M.A Space in Los Angeles.

In infancy, Walfred Rodriguez grew up in a popular neighborhood in the city of Oaxaca, where streets lack pavement and drinking water. Although, life was full of material deficiencies, the sense of belonging to a family, referring to neighbors and the community, has allowed him to enjoy the abundance of work, a form in which he explains the love that Oxacans have towards their work.

Growing up with the support of his mother, Flora Rodriguez, has inspired him to continue his passion for the arts, besides the adversities. Thanks to his persistent work, Walfred Rodriguez is starting to harvest the fruits of his efforts and recently received an invitation to present his work in Varsovia, Poland, in a project entitled “Young Mexican Artists”, which represents an opportunity to portray his artwork at other levels.

Auction Sale benefiting Indigenous Magazine

In making a connection with Immigrant Oaxacans that live far from their communities of origin, the outstanding work of the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations (FIOB) in defending the rights of the indigenous immigrants, the young painter will donate half of all profits of his 15 works available for sale.

The objective is to raise funds to continue the publication of El Tequio magazine, an informative source of FIOB, an organization that besides assisting indigenous Oaxacan immigrants, they also include, Mixtecs, Tlapanecs of Guerrero, and Purechas of Michoacan.

El Tequio is published quarterly on a bi-national level, it includes subjects of special interest to the indigenous communities. According to different sources, 200,000 indigenous live and work in California, including Mixtecs, Zapotecs, Triquis and Chatins among many others.

El Tequio includes an editorial, news reports and articles with both indigenous and non-indigenous writers. Also, it contains supplemental color photos provided by reporter Antonio Nava.

The purpose of this auction is to launch a series of events that will continue to allow raising funds for future publications of this informative source for indigenous people. The paintings for sale come in different sizes, from 23’ to 55’. Oil paintings and watercolors are included.

The auctions will take place at IMIX Bookstore, located at 5052 Eagle Rock, Ca., July 25th and 26th @ 7:00pm. For more information call (213) 447-6248 or for an interview with the artist call (559) 393-5433.

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