Julio Cesar Rodriguez’ surrealism is pure, in that it derives from an openness bordering on out-of-body experience: “When I'm painting I feel my mind is opened as a theater stage and my staging begins to establish itself with its own lights and shadows, colors and strokes…and then going to bed trying to sleep with that huge dark hat is the night. It is in this process where I feel still perched at that stage - floating in my paintings.”
We also are tempted to describe these most recent paintings as moving more into abstraction. The traditional surrealist’s descriptive precision with objects, time, and space has not been totally abandoned, but the vigorous kinetic swirl of his compositions partially obscure those elements, and our eye focuses on the few instances of representational clarity. The bird’s head from “Infinity Wings”, for example, or the self-portrait from “The Saved Essence of My Soul”, which makes explicit the feeling of theatricality the artist mentions. The figure might be onstage, or he might be painting a scenic design backstage.
It all reinforces the concept of alternate reality that is a keystone of the surrealist aesthetic. But the images are more than that label would allow. Rodriguez describes his work as, “a mixture of figuration and expressionism with an air of surrealism.” So we also witness his abstraction regroup into suggestions of the representational, as in “Muse Face”.
“When I am creating I feel locked up in a cage with clouds. They help me hold on to the tightrope of real life and it is then that I feel the exact balance with the doors of my intellect. My love for painting holds me, makes me play attached to a brush, and it is the only time where the magicians’ savor their perfect trick.”
Rodriguez’ new solo exhibition Divine Shadows, opens on April 7th in the Revelry Boutique Gallery, with a reception that evening 7:00 to 10:00 pm, and will continue through the month of April.
Hometown: Holguin, Cuba
Education: BFA, Fine Art Academy, Holguin, Cuba
Gallery Representation: Revelry Boutique Gallery
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.