Julio Cesar Rodarte talks about “POP GLYPHS”

As you may know, Practical Art features the functional, usable, craft work of over 100 Arizona artisans. That’s our specialty, but we also have a great appreciation of the visual arts and seek to be an approachable, first stepping stone for emerging Arizona artists on their way to seeking regular gallery representation.  Each month we mount a show from a different artist in a variety of mediums and aesthetics, from photography and paintings, to video and interactive work.  Our mission is to guide new artists in the professional and business aspects of the arts, to host work that is accessible to ‘every day’ folks with ‘every day’ budgets, and to hopefully create a friendly atmosphere that allows the collecting bug to bite a new collector, whether they be the young or the young-at-heart.

Now that we have a blog, we’ll be having each month’s exhibiting artist guest author a post the day before their reception to give you a little background on what inspires and motivates them. October’s show is “POP GLYPHS” by Julio Cesar Rodarte. From the show’s postcard: “[Rodarte] brings aesthetic elements of modern experience into geometric and colorful formalist paintings. It is work that reflects our age of pictorial language, branding and logo design, and navigational signage. His intuitive command of the spectrum makes his canvases hum with a vibrant electricity; each composition is a visual sentence that describes a thread of 21st century zeitgeist.”

And here’s a bit of what Julio has to say about his work:

“What most inspires me is geometry and color. The combination of these two elements allows me to communicate emotions, feelings, desires, frustrations, disappointments, etc. I often cut panels into shaped, irregular pieces to satisfy my urge to create something unique and different; people should know that not all art has to be in rectangular/squared formats! Self-study brought me to that important moment in my artistic development when I discovered the art of Frank Stella, Elizabeth Murray, and Al Held. Just to look at all those colors, shapes, lines, etc., made me think that art should not be just in rectangles and squares but rather be unique. I wondered how these people created such beautiful things… so I bought an MDF panel (49×90 inches), drew the shapes, then cut it. “The Goddess of Fertility” was my first shaped piece and I was so excited when someone bought it.  I started working on these shaped panels but I have also never fully abandoned the rectangular format. I don’t want to divorce completely from it yet.

Mostly, I just paint what pops in my head; sometimes it is good, sometimes not, but it is painted from my heart. Sometimes, I am inspired by Vocal Trance music. It’s so much energy and speaks to my feelings so clearly. I even title some of my paintings  after songs or lyrics. For instance, the painting titled, “Never Cry Again,” was inspired by Dash Berlin’s song of the same title. The song says, “…when you come home, I will never cry again.” I represented this feeling using two circles to symbolize a separation, then, a rhombus as their only connection.

Whatever the original inspiration for my work, there begins the long process of sketching, cutting the pieces, assembling it, and then, finally, painting it. I have this inner desire to create something. I spend hours on just one painting. I think most people would find my process boring and exhausting. I find it to be freeing, relaxing, and fun. When I finish a piece, I’m not thinking about if it will sell or not. I just want to paint something that looks beautiful to me, and I want others to see it and experience it as well. My goal is just to paint as much as I can and to share my art with the world.”  — Julio Cesar Rodarte

To hear more about Julio and his work, to ask specific questions, and to SEE THE WORK IN PERSON!, please come to the reception tomorrow night, Friday, October 12th from 7-9pm.

Other great events this weekend?  There’s a “Raising Chickens in Your Backyard” lecture by Rachel Bess of the Valley Permaculture Alliance in our space at 9:30am on Saturday. (RSVP at www.valleypermaculturealliance.org). Also on Saturday, visit Practical Art artisan C.A.T. Cunningham at Barktoberfest in Gilbert and wind up the day at the SunnySlope Art Walk from 5pm-9pm! And, of course, we recommend dedicating all of Sunday to the Octoberfest at Tempe Town Lake (Fri thru Sat).