Cristina Rodriguez

Essay by Adelinda Allegretti (2009)

Essay by Adelinda Allegretti


Cristina Rodriguez is a painter deeply rooted in the South American tradition, which she has been able to reinterpret in a modern, captivating view thanks to her twenty-year experience in London. The resulting artistic experience is certainly naive, cheerful, lively, full of chromatic contrasts and easy to understand. It ranges from landscapes to real-life scenes, often oozing with a strange fairy-tale, if not surreal atmosphere.

In the earliest work exhibited at this Fair, The Saxophonist and the Chinese Girl (2002), the title plays a fundamental role, that of generating the spectator's curiosity. What is the link between the saxophonist and the young Chinese girl? Even after viewing, the answer to this question remains a mystery. The truth is, the paintings elements end up catcing our attention to the point we 'magically' forget the title altogether. The unlikely dancing couple - she is slim and ethereal, he is strong and sturdy - is surrounded by members of an orchestra and what looks like a peasant carrying a child on slow-paced white horse. A woman is sitting in the shade of a tree. Is this a modern interpretation of the Flight into Egypt?

Another feature of Rodriguez's painting is the lack of perspective. The components of her work are all disposed on top of each other, not behind one another, as we have been taught by seven centuries of European pictorial tradition. As a consequence, the various elements are represented not in their real proportions, but larger or smaller, without a scientific rationale, as a sort of 'creative licenece'. This contributes to describing her paintings as depicting dreamlike, fantastic and unusual situations.

Adelinda Allegretti

 
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Cristina Rodriguez's studio in Geneva, 2013