June 20, 2009
What a Tree Feels Like, 2008
Courtesy the artist and Fredric Snitzer Gallery
…an apple tree has to make apples so
I’m just making what I am making.
I don’t know what it’s called,
it’s a fruit that hasn’t been named yet,
but it’s not art.
B. R. Interview at Artlurker.com (July, 2008)
With the arrival of spring, everything is reborn and so Bert Rodriguez who after recovering from an accident plays to be a tree buried in the ground and delights us with artworks –or apples?- always in progress.
The constitutive on-going notion that typifies most of Rodriguez production contrasts with his retrospective obsession of which the name of the present exhibition is tributary. Back in 2000, the Miami Dade College hosted Bert Rodriguez’ A Pre-career Retrospective where the artist shared with the visitor an inventory of ordinary objects (tooth brush or childhood drawings) that guided Rodriguez into the world of arts.
Participating of the extended notion of art that typifies this conceptual Miami based creator, In Your Own Image: The Best of Bert Rodriguez Greatest Hits Vol. 1 includes a vast number of media such as sculpture, web-based artwork, neon signs, installations, videos, C-prints and performance.
Exploring the relationships between art and artifact, Me and the others, artistic genius or ordinary people, Classic Art and Contemporary Art, Bert Rodriguez recreates a fabulous ambiance propitious to the analyze and non exempt of humor.
The series of work entitling the exhibition: In Your Own Image, 2008, plays with the boundaries between Me and the others. The series is comprised of 134 postage paid postcards, all with the same image of Rodriguez and includes instructions inviting the public to complete thee image and then mail it back to the artist. Once in the gallery, the cards carefully placed at the eye level, share room with Where my Eye Meet You, 2005, conformed by a simple white neon light. The length of the neon tube has been determined by the scope of Rodriguez’ peripheral vision and hung at exactly his eye level.
This oeuvre is cited in Where my Eye meet you (V.ll), 2006 which verses between Classic and Contemporary arts. Rodriguez picked up six canvases from the Museum collection, placing them on a wall. Then, with a razor blade, the artist traced a straight line –once again at his eye level- connecting the artworks, the visitor and himself. The crossed eyes between artist, visitors, and characters on canvases as well as the cutting action induce to the reflection around concepts such as Art, Art History, artistic genius versus ordinary people, and museum setting.
Weeping Monolith, 2008, introduced to us at the Miami Beach Convention Center during Art Basel last year, is a lyrical minimalist Virgin. Conformed by a sufficient black foam rectangle, this adorable icon -loaded with all the religious spirit that inhabits the museum's classical collection- stands in front of us crying in ecstasy: the monolith spills a tear every 30 seconds.
For more info, hours and address: http://bassmuseum.org/index.html