LAUNCH Gallery is proud to present two solo shows of local Los Angeles artists, Kaoru Mansour and Ana Rodriguez. These mid-career veterans optimized the past 14 months to examine themselves and their art practices through a lens that honored their past and provided hope and inspiration for the future. This period of relative physical isolation proved to be a productive time of reflection and dreams of a better tomorrow that them to present these exhibitions.
Ana Rodriguez continues her exploration of color, pattern, historical reference and design aesthetic in Floral Ritual. Her direct inspiration comes from memories of her East Los Angeles upbringing complete with linoleum, wallpaper and bright colors of post-war Southern California.
“There is a sense of nostalgia that tends to move away from anti modern and more decorative, painterly traditions in order to carry meaning, but also question contemporary painting. The focus I wanted the viewer to question is their own personal association to color, memory, objects of ritual used in ceremonies, both sad and happy, and decorative elements of their home both current and past.” Adds Rodriguez.
Ana Rodriguez grew up in the small community of Maywood, California, which is adjacent to the industrial cities of Commerce and Vernon and their numerous chemical plants, refineries, public waste areas and foundries. Rodriguez recalls being highly aware of the contrast between the putrid, foul smell of dead animals from the meat packaging plants like Farmer John and the sweet scents from large scale bakeries like Sara Lee and small family-owned cake shops from her neighborhood. Rodriguez combines patterns that range from kitchen cabinet liners, linoleum flooring, wallpaper, and fabric from her toys and clothes as a child. The mix of sources is reflected in Rodriguez’s paintings that combine brightly colored gesture/cakelike batter against the decorative. The play between smells is something that intrigues the Artist as well. Ana Rodriguez earned a BFA from California State University, Long Beach (2007) and an MFA from Otis College of Art and Design (2009).