Omar Rodriguez-Graham’s sculptural compositions are an ode to the grand historical arc of painting. The works are born out inspiration from Renaissance and Baroque masterworks: I see the imagery in these paintings as a kind of raw material which I go on to appropriate. I treat them as if they were samples in contemporary music honing in on the aspects that I am drawn to more strongly and amplifying them or annulling the elements that do not work for the compositions. R-G
Rodriguez-Graham’s practice is rooted in an ongoing exploration of painting’s inherent language; hoping to find the meeting point between the recognizable and the abstract. His paintings employ familiar images as an armature upon which to place marks which he refers to as "traces of the event of painting". These marks construct a figure that acts not as a replacement or stand-in of the initial figuration, but as a memory or an amalgamation between a recollection and the construction of something new.
Rodriguez-Graham’s artistic process is meticulous and labor intensive. It begins with defining the mechanical drawings for the fabrication of the panels, welding the aluminum structures, and next the carpentry, the linen and the pre-painting. Finally this leads to the application of numerous painting techniques which are used to create the sense of depth in the works. Although the works are technically oil and acrylic, about 99% of what can be seen is the oil paint, and thus it requires specific rhythms and times for drying before being able to apply layers and veils upon the lower layers.
In his newest works, the artist has tackled a group of paintings based on physical constructions. The playful and vibrant mixed-media objects present a purely painterly experience. Upon being represented upon a canvas, these complex works suggest a new reality: a coexistence between the recognizable and the abstract.
Rodriguez-Graham graduated with a BA from Drew University in Madison, N.J., U.S.A. in 2003 and received his MFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, P.A., U.S.A. in 2005. He has twice been a recipient of FONCA’s Beca de Jovenes Creadores fellowship. Among the residencies he has attended are The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2013) and The Banff Centre (2010).
His work has been shown both individually and collectively in México, the United States, Europe and South America. His work is held in private and public collections in Brazil,Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, the United States of America and Venezuela among which are included The JUMEX Collection, Mexico; Museum of Modern Art, México; SPACE Collection (formerly known as Sayago & Pardon) USA and the Jorge Pérez Collection, USA.
Art Rotterdam 2023Booth 83 9 - 12 Feb 2023For Art Rotterdam 2023, Rutger Brandt Gallery is pleased to present a playful and dynamic booth featuring Dutch artist Thijs Jansen in visual and conceptual conversation with international artists Ryan Crotty and Omar Rodriguez-Graham. Shown together for the first time, the artists share a core interest in color and an...