February 7 – April 8, 2017
After more than twelve years of trajectory, Omar Rodriguez-Graham’s practice is at an inflection point. Omar has developed a more-than-critical view of painting as a discipline of art, as a battleground of ideas about painting. He uses its own mechanisms to talk about its communicative effectiveness, and in the process, to expand its activity towards new experimental narratives, which are expressed through the combination of memory and desire.
Since the beginning of his work as a painter, Rodriguez-Graham has been devoted to the exploration of the processes and languages of painting. If his previous work established the premise that “painting should not function as a creation of images, but as a presentation of the fundamental language of painting”, his recent body of work tries, not to present, but to intervene —subvert?— the reliable link between the sign and its world of referentiality.
His recent work is founded under the Platonic concept of anamnesis, which he builds through the cannibalization of iconic images taken from Western art. By appropriating and distorting the figures, marks, colors and space of these classic works, the artist creates a visual vocabulary shaped, under different parameters, in completely new compositions.
Painting After is set as a series of pictorial reminiscences, like past quotes passed down by the works’ own vision and admired thoughts, in order to examine its visual construction. Rodriguez-Graham proposes a revision —a proper way of measuring the work’s context— by digitizing, then vectorizing classic European paintings, and finally, returning them to the canvas. Weighing the way we construct our visions from the remnants of the original visual data.