Born in New York City, Ritchard Rodriguez studied art under mentors Gilbert L. Stone and Jonathan Borofsky, his work figuratively following within the footsteps of the old masters, primarily seduced by the Dutch, and by Germany’s ‘New Objectivity’ of the 1920s/1930s during the era of Minimalism. The 1980s spent in Europe exposed him to the evolution of painting, past, present and the approaching 21st century. His 1st experience showing was at the Jerome Gallery in Aspen, Colorado 1977, where he resided at the time, and his 1st Solo exhibition with Galerie Michel Ozenne in Paris’ First Arrondissement, France 1984, introducing him to the French public. That same year, along with Belgium diplomat and art dealer Jan de Maere, Rodriguez was showcased internationally at the FIAC at the Grand Palais. After 15 years of academic realism, he shed it for his very own abstraction, freeing up his hands, constructively creating without limits nor regrets. Corrupted by a video of Willem de Kooning working in his studio was principal in his revelation as the young artist stood watching in awe: “one needs only seriously master his/her techniques and visions as a painter and an artist can just about do anything.” The paintings included collage, calligraphy (abstract painted words), and very gestural work of pure paint while ever bearing drawing, composition and design.
“Gestural, painterly, dauntless and vivid are just a few words to describe the dynamic paintings by artist Ritchard Rodriguez. His liberate narrative speaks of the untamed. With controlled abandon Rodriguez creates work with temperamental movement and a balanced atmosphere. There is much to be admired in these evocative pieces.” – E.E. Jacks, curator.
Rodriguez has exhibited throughout Europe and the United States; art fairs in Europe, NY, Pittsburg & Miami; auction houses in L’Isle-Adam and Monaco, the latter curated by Princess Stephanie herself for her “La Maison de Vie FAM” on International AIDS Day; his art collected within four continents. In 2019 he permanently relocated to Miami, Florida.
“When admitted to the High School of Art & Design, NY’s most prestigious for all talented students, I aspired at being a fine comic-book penciler upon graduation during the renaissance within that industry. By the time of my final term there (1974), I bought a box of oil paints and graduated a painter – surrealism, Dutch Old Masters, eventually leading to abstractions. Today I see my paintings as living creatures with shapes, problems and solutions that I address within a candid dialogue, stemming from pure spontaneity*, entering a space of concentration, rhythm, physical gesturing, and an understanding of where a work wants to go.”
*”…Spontaneity is, after all, total sincerity — the whole being involved in the act without the slightest reservation…” Alan W. Watts”