Where is our Exile? Presents the work of Seattle-based ceramist George Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a native El Pasoan whose figurative ceramic work engages directly with the political, social and cultural dimensions of immigrants, Mexican-Americans and other communities of color in the United States and beyond, evoking conditions of displacement, longing and belonging. The title of the exhibition is drawn from a poem by Juan Felipe Herrera, the first Chicano poet laureate of the United States, who contrasts the journeys of political refugees with the painfully paralyzing realities of marginalized communities in the United States.
George Rodriguez Artist Statement
My work blends my interest in human psychology, community and love for decoration and embellishment. I love to see people smile and thestories I build make that possible.
I enjoy the art in folk and craft objects. I use traditional and iconic imagery/forms to make my work feel familiar. Through the narratives I choose, I bring whimsical, serious and approachable aspects into my work. I realize that even when the content is heavy it can still be made accessible. This accessibility manifests itself through humor, decoration and homage to historical traditions.
I love decoration! I enjoy how heavy decoration can seem parasitic yet it beckons to be adored and looked at. Decoration adds a layer of stimulation to an object. It’s intended to give pleasure. The more intently you look, the more rewarding it will be.
Community is a strong force that influences my artwork and life. I value the communities that I have formed and am continuing to expand on. My artwork aims to bring people closer and act as markers for people to congregate around. Larger pieces are a community experience because they quickly evolve into a project of lifting, moving, loading, cursing and celebrating because of the assistance I require to create them. Friends are important and a strong community is key.