Jonathan Rodriguez is a figurative painter who works primarily with oil on canvas. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.
His work forms through a continual dialogue between imagery and paint. Rodriguez's technique repeatedly departs from, and returns to, the Western classical definition of picture making. His images are drawn from eccentric fragments of current news, film, and personal experiences.
In an investigative process of automated sketching and writing, Rodriguez dwells in a space of uncertainty. He then brings these studies to a finished state. The result is an eclectic stream of consciousness
Where are you from? Did you grow up in a creative environment?
I was born and raised in Queens, New York; one of the most ethnically diverse places in the world. The amount of exposure to different foods, music, fashion, and art that came with living there undoubtedly fostered a curiosity for the world. This, in combination with having a musician for a dad, provided me with a very creative environment to develop in.
Who or what has compelled and/or encouraged you to create your art?
My compulsion to make art began with the amusement of achieving likeness--working largely from photographs. Eventually I became unamused and began seeking examples of what else could be achieved by reading many artist essays and interviews. I adapted an introspective approach towards painting; while continuing to paint pictorially representational imagery, my process became more abstract. I formed an obsession with seeking "truth", or painting images that would capture some semblance of the enigmatic psyche.
What is the key topic or issue that your work addresses?
I arrive at the final image by narrowing down a conglomerate of unconscious underdrawings and/or sketches--a process that makes me feel as though I've created some sort of order on earth for myself. The paintings I make are almost never meant to be taken literally, they simply address the act of painting.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
Other people's paintings.
If you weren’t creating art, what would you be doing?
If I weren't painting, I'd be making movies. If I weren't making movies, I'd be making music. If I weren't making music, I'd be cooking. If I weren't cooking, I'd be writing. But I consider all of those to be creating art, so I have no idea!