Una Mirada al Mundo de Rodolfo Rojas-Rocha

Una Mirada al Mundo de

Rodolfo Rojas-Rocha

por Donna Rae Kessinger

Este mes, El Playero les presenta a Donna Rae Kessinger, quien escribe sobre el artista Rodolfo Rojas Rocha de Costa Rica. Donna Rae Kessinger es Artista y Curadora, con base en el Area Metro de New York y enfoca sus proyectos con el propósito de estimular la colaboración entre artistas recientes y las comunidades.

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Conocí a Rodolfo Rojas-Rocha en el Centro de Arte de Miami durante “Art Basel-Miami Beach 2007”. Pintor prolífico, Rojas-Rocha ha exhibido sus trabajos nacional e internacionalmente y es también profesor en la Universidad de Veritas y en la Universidad de Costa Rica. El es actualmente consultor en Educación de Arte en el Ministerio de Educación de Costa Rica. La exhibición “Zoometría del Rhizoma”, mural dibujado por Rodolfo Rojas-Rocha, empezará a ser exhibido el último fin de semanas de octubre en el “New Media Project Space” de la Galería Aferro, en Newark, New Jersey. Describiendo este proyecto, Rodolfo dice: “Estoy interesado en hacer una impresión que rete a la audiencia a pensar sobre el dibujo del rhizoma y que consideren ‘qué es arte…Me gustaría improvisar e incorporar sonidos mientras dibujo” La exhibición incluirá una combinación de diagramas de ideas generales, pinturas de murales “airbrushed”, la actuación de elementos y técnicas innovadoras de iluminación. El trabajo que él crea tiene su foco visual y emocional en “… el espacio entre el bosque lluvioso y el cielo.”

Rodolfo explica además, que su trabajo es una reflexión de la manera que él piensa sobre cosas pequeñas y grandes en naturaleza. El incorpora “dibujos rhizomáticos sin líneas, imágenes de plantas en colage con relaciones y patrones derivados de la naturaleza. Sus dibujos acodados con la imaginación natural que se encuentra en un bosque pluvial. Su trabajo lo hace al óleo, en acrílico y mezclando medios.

Un tema común en su arte es el examen de la simultánea realidad de lo micro y macroscópico percibida a través de la anatomía humana, de fibras de animales y de elementos tales como vegetales y minerales. Su trabajo también muestra imágenes de la mitología costarricense y de símbolos pre-colombianos. Los cuadros de Rojas Rocha son réplicas tomadas de los pinceles que pintan los paisajes costarricenses.

Para ver imágenes del trabajo de Rodolfo, visite su website: www.rojasrocha.com. La Galería Aferro está en 73 Market Street , Downtown Newark, New Jersey.†

Este artículo fue escrito en ingles por Donna Rae Kessinger 

Oct 15, 2009

A Micro/Macroscopic look at the world of Rodolfo Rojas-Rocha

by Donna Rae Kessinger

Rodolfo Rojas-Rocha and I met at an art opening at the Miami Art Center (800 Lincoln Road Gallery) during Art Basel-Miami Beach 2007. He is a prolific painter, professor, and community educator. Rojas-Rocha (1968) was raised in Costa Rica and he has had 20 solo shows and more than 90 national and international exhibitions (New York, Mississippi, Cartagena, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador among other countries), is a member of Costarrican Visual Artists Association (ACAV), and serves on the Ministry of Education and PROCESOS as an artistic education Consultant. Remarkably, seven months from Art-Basel, I found myself exploring the Arts and Culture of San Jose, Costa Rica. I spent ten days meeting with contemporary Costarrican Artists in local galleries and in their studios. I quickly found myself in a world that appears quite different from mine on the surface, but when it comes to being Artists, we are of the same heart. I asked Rodolfo to describe his upcoming mural/drawing project scheduled at the Media Project Space, Gallery Aferro in Newark, New Jersey, Zoomitograhy Rhizome: I am interested in doing a performance that challenges the audience to think about the rhizome drawing and consider ‘what art is’…I would like to improvise and incorporate sounds while I am drawing. The performance might be a series of intimate gestures taken from action drawing. The installation will be a combination of conceptual maps, handmade media combined with cognitive thinking, theory of art, performative elements, along with innovative lighting techniques. When asked to describe the work he replied, (It is) the way to think about nature around me, related with the micro and macro world. Since the space between rain forest to the sky. Rojas-Rocha incorporates non-linear and rhizomatic images in collage with relationships and patterns cultivated from nature. He works in oil, acrylic, mixed media, and site-specific drawing layered with natural imagery found in the rain forest. A common theme in his art is the examination of a simultaneous microscopic and macroscopic reality that is based on human anatomy, muscles, the fiber of animal, vegetable, and mineral elements, along with ideological aspects of the Costa Rican mythological, including pre-Columbian symbols. His works on canvas bring to mind the early biomorphic paintings of Terry Winters, while crossing the territory between human anatomy, nature, and Costa Rica mythologies. His paintings explore a deep exchange of color taken directly from the palette of the Costa Rican Landscape. Rojas-Rocha is not afraid to use applied technology in his work, whether in the classroom or exhibition space. He employs 3-D Google Maps to teach Design History alongside his Janson, Art History Book, and the Metropolitan Museum’s Timeline of Art History; http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/. He pulls the combined media together to bring innovative methods of learning to his students. This reflects his approach to his own art. He uses conceptual maps to think forward about his creative process, in order to help better organize and visualize ideas, or topics. A conceptual map is a special form of a web diagram for exploring knowledge and gathering and sharing aesthetic information.  Rodolfo: In my work drawing a concept mapping is the strategy employed to develop Art. A concept map consists of nodes or cells as rhizomatic links, which contain an image, words, and lines. The links are labeled and denote direction with an arrow symbol related to muscles and organization structure. The labeled links explain the relationship between the nodes. The arrow describes the direction of the relationship and reads like a visual sentence. Rojas-Rocha adds, I am interested in hybridized culture… an approach to the contemporary artistic image. Culture means transforming (ing) nature; I transform culture with a rhizomatic drawing. My drawings have fibers, nodes, buds, and tiny figures that will create a composition along the wall. The rhizome is a pattern of life…a fleshy stem that grows horizontally, as a food-storing organ, beneath the surface of the ground, and enables a plant to reproduce. The wall is the surface where I will draw the process as the stem. Lines and forms will be visible and will grow like a plant in a forest Rodolfo Rojas-Rocha’s solo Exhibition in Gallery Aferro’s New Media Project Space will open the last weekend of October in 2009, and will correspond with, The Open Doors Artist’s Studios and Available Space Tour, an annual event organized by the Newark Arts Council. The Tour features a number of curated and juried exhibitions featuring Art from Newark and surrounding areas while showcasing available artists’ space; performance art. Check out http://www.aferro.org and www.newarkarts.org, for workshops and related events. Also, see Rodolfo’s website http://www.rojasrocha.com for images of his work and updated exhibition information. Gallery Aferro can be found at 73 Market Street, located in Downtown Newark. Newark has a rapidly growing art scene that is less than thirty minutes from Manhattan by train and is within walking distance to the world-famous Iberian culinary delights of the Portuguese / Spanish neighborhood known as the Iron Bound.

Donna Rae Kessinger is a working Artist and Curator, based in the New York Metro Area, whose focus is mainly on projects that encourage collaboration between emerging artists and communities, resulting in a marriage of art and commerce in the form of a possible intervention / performative work, public art project, or traditional gallery exhibition.

Womyn’s Werq

In Honor of Women’s History Month

March 19,  2021

Donna Kessinger Curator at Studio Montclair, Manager of the ChaShaMa Matawan Studio and Gallery

Mid-October 2020, during the last phase of a difficult political time in general, Susanna Baker, Executive
Director of Studio Montclair (https://www.studiomontclair.org/), reached out and asked me if I would be
interested in proposing a show honoring Women’s History Month.

I started with two words: women with a ‘y’ and werq. I looked them up online. 

From the Urban Dictionary:


This is a term used by those who feel that having the word “man” in the word “woman” makes women a
subset of men. So, to make themselves a non subset, they changed the letter ‘e’ to a ‘y’.

I am not a subset, I am a womyn.


An expression used when praising someone for looking erce.

I was inspired as I headed to my bookshelf and reread selections from Sexual Politics by Kate Millett to get my
wheels turning. Millett was part of my chosen family when I was in my late 20s.

In 1999, I spent about a year’s worth of winter weekends and summer months upstate, werqing her women’s
art colony, archiving her writing materials, mowing acres of evergreen tree farmland, and daydreaming of
future times to come. I am now 51 and she is no longer with us in the physical sense, but her writing remains.
Sometimes, picking up her books remind me of conversations past regarding feminisms and life as a Dyke
living out loud in the modern world.

“Womyn’s Werq (https://www.studiomontclair.org/womyns-werq/)” asked artists to reflect on how radicalism
manifests on a visceral and intellectual level – is it the artist’s engagement with protest, activism, cultural
organizing? Is it the materials used or the content the artist takes up?

“Womyn’s Werq” honors radical feminists, artists who identify with LGBTQIA culture and the spirit of breaking
conventional boundaries in our daily lives. With a strong focus on inclusion, this show serves as a snapshot of
contemporary work created by gender-fluid, eco-femme, queer/trans, and old-school butch/femmes.

The exhibition features a wide range of 2-D artworks and sculptures, short video art pieces serving as visual
narratives in the main gallery, and, in the exterior windows, featuring exciting contemporary art installations!

“Womyn’s Werq (https://youtu.be/-newW6oJa8E)” is an old school, LGBTQIA-friendly, radical feminist art
exhibition featuring a collection of more than 60 artworks describing the spirit of renewal, raw energies,
sexuality, the personal is political, art making as a form of protest, soft spots, and maybe even finding love in
the age of COVID.

Participating artists: Aodan, Ara-Lucia, Mia Ahntholz, Olga Alexander, Sandra Anton, Barbara Bickart, Jeanne
Brasile, Rodriguez Calero, Marina Carreira, Gwen Charles, Liz Collins, Leslie Connito, Lisa D’Amico, Lisa DeLoria
Weinblatt, Yvonne Duck, Kara Dunne, Megan Dyer, Kathleen Elyse, Lisa Ficarelli-Halpern, Modern Fossils:Judith
Marchand and David P Horowitz, Yolanda Fundora, Colleen Sweeney Gahrmann, Trish Gianakis, Parastoo
Haddadi, Karen Heagle, Susan Hensel, Katie Hovencamp, Jennifer Hughes, Valerie Huhn, Raluca Iancu, Kristen
Iannuzzelli, Elizabeth Insogna, Miriam Jacobs, Dorian Katz, Michelle Knox, Erin Kuhn, Phoebe Legere, Jennifer
Malone, Paula Marino, Anne Q McKeown, Nick Metz, Leslie Nobler, Jacquie O’Brien, Christy O’Connor, Kate
Okeson, Stacey AS Pritchard, Brass Rabbit, Marisol Ross, Yolanda Santa Cruz, Christine Sauerteig-Pilaar, Alix
Anne Shaw, Gail G. Slockett, Victoria Smits, Peter Tilgner, Kay Turner, Rhonda Urdang, Sarah Van Vliet, Margaret
Rose Vendryes, Sue Eldridge Ward, Jennifer Willoughby, and Becky Yazdan.

“Under patriarchy the female did not herself develop the symbols by which she is described.” -  Kate Millett, Sexual Politics


Artwork in cover image: Erin Kuhn’s “Peach Love,” Jennifer Willoughby’s “Dystopia,” and Phoebe Legere’s “Holy
Clitoral Scroll”

Using Format