The joint art work of two longtime Dominican-born friends, Henry Rodriguez and Danilo Gonzalez will be on display at The Art Place (Wynwood’s main gallery) September 12 – October 5. Hosted by the Art Place and its director Danilo Gonzalez, ‘Homage to Henry’ is also being staged to raise awareness and an understanding of and about Esophageal Cancer.
This duo exhibition, however, will also be of a posthumous nature as it is also a tribute to one of the artists, Henry Rodriguez, who died of Esophageal Cancer in April 2013 eight months after being diagnosed. He was 52.
According to a recent press release from ECAN (Esophageal Cancer Action Network),
“Best friends since they were teens, Dominican-born artists, Danilo Gonzalez and Henry Rodriguez (a.k.a. Stego) always dreamed of collaborating on a show displaying both of their works. Three decades later, the Gonzalez-Rodriguez dream finally will come true, but not in the way the artists had envisioned.”
Speaking of his recently departed boyhood friend, Danilo Gonzalez had this to say:
“Henry was an intelligent and informed artist, and even though his production was cut short, his artwork is mature. The graphic essence of his work coupled with the passion Henry had for history positioned his work into a very special place within the art world.”
Henry’s wife, Rubini Salva-Rodriguez, who will be attending the opening reception on September 14 said that art was unquestionably her husband’s life.
Although he died from Esophageal Cancer, the artist apparently never smoked and lived a life consistent with an all around ‘good health’ care which he lived and practiced daily. The artist, however, did discern having a persistent ‘heart burn’ and ‘acid reflux’ which, in time, silently evolved into the deadly disease after discovering a problem with swallowing properly.
The exhibition partnership between ECAN and The Art Place, however, is fodder for another reason for the tribute to her husband as expressed by Rubini Salva-Rodriguez:
“It's also a great joy to me to help raise awareness of the link between heartburn and esophageal cancer. It’s a way of honoring Henry and the thousands of others who lost their lives to it as well. Henry's wish of sharing his story to the world with hopes to prevent this disease from happening to anyone ever again is motivation enough for me to make it my vocation.“
The exhibit will display twenty works or art by each artist.