Julio Cesar Rodarte is in his early 30’s, and says he wouldn’t have made it this long without art. “Art saved my life. The reason I started painting was because there was a time in my life when everything was dark and joyless. When I thought I was not going to make it, art brought color back in. But most importantly, it brought inner peace, a sense of energy that has kept me in balance all these years, and an eye to appreciate beauty in simple things. It brought joy and I felt alive again.”
Emigrating from a small town in Zacatecas, Mexico to the States at the age of 16, all Rodarte dreamed of doing was learning English, eating at McDonald’s, and visiting Las Vegas– experiencing the America he’d only read about in books. And, while those simple wishes were quickly attained, Rodarte suffered a number of frustrations: day-to-day life as a gay teenager in Arizona high schools, the impermanence of Visas, and the challenge of pursuing a higher education with a citizenship status in flux. The weight of those struggles allowed a deep depression to ebb in, one that Rodarte was only able to emerge from through his art.
Rodarte cites artists Elizabeth Murray, Al Held, and Frank Stella as inspirational touch points for his work, and he cites his ability to craft beauty out of hardship as motivation to continue to create artwork, learn, and live. Join us during May to experience the radiant palette active in his most recent works; reception tonight!
Julio Cesar Rodarte
Exhibition May 1st-31st, 2015
Reception: First Friday, May 1st, from 7-9