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Visual Art
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 3 years ago

Studio Space: Javier Rodriguez

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Working in a new Longboat Key studio space, Javier Rodriguez is exploring new styles and taking risks with his artwork.
by: Nick Reichert Arts & Entertainment Editor

Javier Rodriguez was hesitant at first.

The thought of trading his home studio for a two-month residency at the Longboat Key Center for the Arts was a bit daunting. Since moving to Sarasota from Puerto Rico in 2000 to study at Ringling College of Art and Design, he’s rarely worked outside his home studio.

But Rodriguez says he's come to embrace the challenge.

"I mainly do figurative work and human anatomy. But I’m switching styles here in this new space. I’m not aiming for realism with these pieces.”

“It’s a weird environment for me,” he says. “But I thought, since I’m out here, why not explore a different style?”

The new style is an expressive depiction of Rodriguez’s world, told through charcoal sketches based on everyday photos he takes of family, friends and surroundings on his iPad. He dives into each portrait, not worrying about formality or frames.

“I’m not that neat,” he says. “I’m not worried about how I’m going to present the pieces. The more unfinished it is, the better. I just explore the image.”

"I do the drawing of the piece on paper before I bring them to canvas. I always save images that inspire. I collect images. That’s what I do. If I find something that captures my eye, I’m saving it."

Rodriguez’s pioneering artistic sensibilities fit well with the rest of his SARTQ cohorts, who have joined him in the group’s two-month residency. The result of their experimental efforts is the show, “Key Influence.”

Running through Oct. 31, the show inhabits the center’s entire campus. And this brief artistic move has made Rodriguez appreciate the power of taking risks.

“More than 50% of what happens on the canvas is an accident,” he says. “That’s the biggest advantage we all have. If you have the artistic eye to stop on those magical moments or beautiful accidents when they happen, you’re in good shape.”

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