Elio Rodriguez’ first solo exhibition in New York City is comprised of large scale soft sculptures and will be on view at 532 West 25th Street until May 9, 2016. Coinciding with his exhibition On Guard, at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for Afro-Latin Studies and Context Art New York, Pier 94, May 4-8, 2016.
An opening reception for the artist will be held Thursday, March 31 from 6 to 8 p.m
In his stuffed, massive soft sculptures, loaded messages about stereotypes, sexual or racial or otherwise, are hidden within exaggerated, provocative rendering of the mysteries of organic, invasive fauna, entangled in space by which a far-out untamed nature is introduced. Lush, ritualistic, magical, multiple perspectives serve as metaphors for the state of his own Afro-Cuban-ism coalesced with the state of the female, as might be interpreted through the popular discourse in our modern times.
Elio’s work may veer into a kind of kitsch, but he does so magnificently in the most unlikely, playful, witty, voluptuous, sensory, sensual ways.
Elio Rodríguez (Havana, 1966) graduated from Havana’s Higher Institute of Art (ISA) in 1989 and quickly became one of the leading figures in the new Afro-Cuban cultural movement that emerged in Cuba during the 1990s. He has had solo and group shows in Latin America, Europe and the US. In 2015, Elio was the Cohen Fellow at the Du Bois Research Institute and the Afro-Latin American Research Institute, Hutchins Center for African & African American Research. His artworks are part of important public and private collections, including National Arts Museum of Cuba; Von Christierson Collection, London; Shelley & Donald Rubin Collection, New York; Peggy Cooper Crafritz Collection, Washington DC; W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University.