by Laura Archer, Staff Writer
“Tête-à-tête” is the Korn Gallery’s latest showing, which features paintings from the Drew University alumni Omar Rodriguez-Graham. Rodriguez-Graham graduated from Drew in 2003, and later went on to graduate from Pennsylvania’s Tyler School of Art to obtain a Masters in Fine Art in 2005. His art has been featured in many museums, including Mexico’s National Museum of Art, Mexico’s Tamayo Museum, and Mexico’s Museum of Modern Art. In addition, his art is held in collections all over the globe, some of which included Brazil, Germany, and Singapore. Rodriguez-Graham has also received The Foundation of of Culture and Art’s Beca de Jovenes Creadores fellowship twice.
In his artist statement, Rodrigeuz-Graham writes, “From the beginning of my development as an artist, I have been devoted to the exploration of the languages of painting. Yet while with my previous work I attempted to operate under the premise that painting should not function as a creation of images, but as a presentation of the fundamental language of painting, this recent body of work tries, not to present, but to intervene or subvert the reliable link between a sign and its world of signification.”
This idea can definitely be seen in Rodriguez-Graham’s work that is currently on display in the Korn Gallery. While at first glance each piece seem chaotic, a longer look will challenge the viewers to find meaning in the overwhelming lines and shapes. Deeper examination allows viewers have personal interpretations, varying in emotional expression or imagination.
He describes his work as, “Playing with the Platonic concept of anamnesis, my recent work cannibalizes and appropriates iconic images of Western art. By distorting the figures, marks, colors and space of these images I create a visual vocabulary shaped, under different parameters, into completely new compositions within my paintings.”
Be sure to check out the artist talk on October 6th at 2:00 p.m. in DOYO Arts 106, and the closing reception on October 6th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.