Cristina Rodriguez

Essay by Gillian Adam (2007)
Cristina Rodriguez was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1964. She has lived in Colombia, Peru, Germany, Great Britain, USA, Zimbabwe and Switzerland. She now lives in Portugal.  A passionate traveller, she has journeyed extensively through South America, Europe and Africa, finding enrichment and inspiration in the familiar and extraordinary practices and customs she has encountered. Although her paintings sometimes contain abstract and surreal elements, they are always emphatically figurative. Characteristic of her work are the bold outlines of the figures or objects, the curve and curl of the forms and the simplified areas of solid colour which clarify the whole pictorial concept.

Simplicity and a joyous passion for colour: these are the compositional keynotes of Cristina Rodriguez's art –clearly revealing the lasting impact of a childhood spent in Colombia with its rich heritage of folk art, primitive art, narrative art, story-telling, myth and fable.

Among many other influences, Cristina Rodriguez cites her love for early Italian Renaissance art, in particular for the quiet and reverential frescoes of Fra Angelico. Also primitive art in all its forms and the great colourists of the twentieth century, particularly Chagall, whose floating gravity-defying figures and animals find their counterpart in her own work.

Cristina Rodriguez has retained the child's ability to believe in the unbelievable and to see the magic in the mundane. She draws her subjects from the real and the imaginary, fusing fantasy and perception into one.

Her paintings – with their animals, dwelling places, radiant landscapes, domestic rituals and everyday objects – welcome us inside. At their centre are love and tranquillity.

The peaceful atmosphere she achieves is the tangible expression of her own longing for the ideal in life, and her fervent wish to eschew the ugliness and cruelty of the world. These are not spontaneous creations, but deliberate works of art which have been thought out, dreamed over, reflected on. Their purpose is to give joy and comfort and, above all, to affirm life. In their simple, direct way, they appeal to our emotions, evoking harmonious associations and creating recurrent sensations of serenity and beauty. We are disarmed and our hearts open to the magic of her art.  


Gillian Adam, London 2007
 
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Cristina Rodriguez's studio in Geneva, 2013