Collage Paintings

“Ritchard Rodriguez’s palette resembles his vision of the modern world: dark, interrupted by moments of light. His ‘Untitled III (featured at The New Yorker Gallery exhibition)’ resembles a brave descent into gathering chaos. Peeking out between a barrage of brush strokes are snapshots of notorious politicians of a not very distant past, and at the edges one senses the inevitable approach of apocalypse.”

—C.S. Ledbetter III (curator)

“From the mid-eighties on, very much reflecting on the fantastic twentieth century, I felt that the only way to succeed at anything original was to recycle our ideas by pasting them together. I felt (still do) overwhelmed with the speed of things, especially the news and media, that I simply started to give some of it back with my work. I never intend my painting to be didactic but, every now and then, I somewhat opinionatedly attack hypocrisy with it. Having always enjoyed snapping a good picture, I began taking them with my canvases in mind. I also started to recycle older negatives in a darkroom, giving birth to new narratives and rhythms within these paintings. Suddenly anything was possible as I got very constructive with canvas, plexi-glass, paper, foil, strings, metal, metallic alkyds, and fixing separate panels together. Today much collage work can be done with PCs, but it’s personally still enjoyable keeping the work organic.”

—Ritchard Rodriguez