Horacio Rodriguez

Artist Statement

My work is about the many borders I have crossed in my life. I carry many of these with me in my memories, and produce work about these physical and psychological borders. As a product of multiple cultures and identities, my art is used as a vehicle to explore the creation of my personal narrative.

The process of creating my work happens over consecutive firings as I build up multiple layers on the surface of my clay work. I seek to transform and infuse new meaning into objects and symbols synonymous with my pre-Hispanic and Mestizo culture, as well as the seductive visual language of Western dominant culture. This creates a hybrid work which mimics my own layered identity.

Although clay is my passion, I have let my ideas and the conceptual framework within which I work, dictate the materials and processes that I engage with while creating my art. Projected imagery and photography coexist with slip-cast ceramic pieces infused with original and appropriated imagery. This hybrid mix of media and techniques approximates the unique, often contradictory spirit of the border aesthetic I am seeking to create.

My Latest body of work is entitled (Un)Invited Collaborations with my Ancestors. This collaborative exploration utilizes parts of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Pre- Columbian Art collection, the latest in 3d scanning, modeling and printing technologies, coupled with traditional ceramic techniques, to create a series of slip-cast canvases that will explore issues such as immigration and migration, cultural appropriation, identity and revolution.

— Horacio Rodriguez

Bio

Horacio Rodriguez is an artist and educator originally from Houston, Texas. As a teenager, he spent his summers wandering the streets of Houston’s Museum district and taking classes at the Glassell School of Art; this inspired him to dedicate himself to a career in the arts. He majored in photography before finally finding his true passion: ceramics and sculpture.

After graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Redlands in 1997, he spent time travelling throughout Latin America and the Caribbean; immersing himself in the culture, language, and food of his ancestors. The following decade was spent teaching art, digital graphics, and ceramics at Chavez High School on the East side of Houston; working primarily with the immigrant communities that had inspired him during his travels.

In 2010, a travel fellowship studying Ceramics in Japan changed the trajectory of his life and his art. With a renewed passion, he began creating a new body of work fusing digitally manipulated imagery and text with clay. In 2013, He began working on his Masters of Fine Arts and teaching at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. After graduating from Montana State University with an MFA in Ceramics in 2016, he received the Morales Teaching Fellowship from the University of Utah and moved to Salt Lake City to teach and further expand his studio practice.

Horacio says about his work, “My work is about the many borders I have crossed in my life. I carry many of these borders with me in my memories and produce work about these physical and psychological borders. As a product of multiple cultures and identities, my art is used as a vehicle to explore the creation of my personal narrative within the hybrid cultures of the borderlands”. Horacio has shown his work extensively; He recently won best of show in the international exhibition, Clay on the Wall, sponsored by Texas Tech University and displayed at the LH Underwood Center for the Arts. He was also recently included in Contemporary Clay which was displayed at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts, as well as Site Lines, The University of Utah’s Art Department faculty show at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

Horacio recently completed his 3-year fellowship at The University of Utah which culminated in his latest body of work entitled, (Un)Invited Collaborations with my Ancestors at Finch Lane Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah. Horacio is passionate about contributing to Salt Lake City’s Art community and supporting diversity in the arts. He recently joined the Board of Directors for Mestizo Institute of Culture and Arts (MICA) as their secretary and will begin curating their Art shows at Sugar Space Arts Warehouse, a cultural hub on the West Side of Salt Lake City. Additionally, he is co-curating the Salt Lake City iteration of Looking for America, a six city Art show focusing on immigration and diverse perspectives that will run August 27th to September 28th, 2019 at the downtown Salt Lake City Public library.Currently, Horacio is beginning his artist’s residency at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Arts (UMOCA) and is busy preparing for his upcoming solo show at Granary Arts which will open Fall of 2019.