Ofelia Rodríguez (1946 - )


    During my years at university in Bogotá I felt a great need to create an art that would express, as authentically as possible, my Colombian reality. My search started through the use of planes of colour defined by the space between forms. My inspiration came from what was most authentically Colombian: the Caribbean coast's popular arts, popular music and literature. While studying in the US, I underwent a drastic change. In trying to go deeper into myself, I imposed the self-discipline of frugality by eliminating colour and all painted lines; by creating forms through cutting them with scissors and by working over raw canvas. I also started using sewing as an element of form and colour, and as a way of interacting more intimately with my work. This superimposition of canvas over canvas eventually lead me to add found objects and photographs. After eight years in Paris my vision of Colombia had extended itself to include South America. I was profoundly touched by Mexican, Brazilian and Cuban art, and their strong pride and trust in their culture. Landscape with Red Live Tree was created in London as an ode to two Mexican artists that to me formed part of the trunk of the Latin American artistic tree. This tree is drawing its strength from the blood of its own body. Some of the forms are painted over the raw canvas; others are cut and sewn onto the canvas. A recycled key box, serves as a reliquary for those two treasures of our past. And a found plastic toucan beak gives the work its humorous finishing touch.

    Ofelia Rodríguez, London


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