Abject of Desire
February 22, 2020 - Jun 6, 2020
170 S. LA BREA AVE. LOS ANGELES, CA 90036
Challenging gender norms, Rodriguez explores themes of love, femininity, what it means to be vulnerable and how we ascribe desire in relationships through the symbolic objects. As abjects of desire, these paintings and sculptures illustrate that desire and love are not always born of happiness, but can emerge from bad experiences and are shaped by mass media and culture.
This series of work examines traditions, objects of ritual, decorative traditions, womanhood, and the psychology of love and loss. As a first generation Mexican-American, Rodriguez was inspired by watching Novelas in the 80s’ and the theme of love that they all shared. The protagonist heroine always depended on the reciprocated love of her man to recognize her self worth, and to gain stature in society. Regardless of the story, the heroine was not complete if she did not have her (MAN) by the end of the story. As a young girl in Los Angeles, Rodriguez’s interpretation of romantic love was taught by these Novelas and by the traditional norms growing up in a devoutly Catholic household.
Rodriguez comments that “The ridicule that I receive as a single woman who is 38 , unmarried and, childless influenced my interpretation and making of this body of work because I found myself finding humor in objects that are usually given in order to show that we are loved.”
The series of work includes funeral floral arrangements, bows for presents, and heart shaped sculptures. Rodriguez showcases her infamous neon palette in a mixture of texture and patterns – stripes, polka dots, leaves, laurels, swirls and drips. In addition to the psychological investigation, Rodriguez also speaks to the decorative traditions that are evident in the home like, floral arrangements, pattern and decoration, and the relationship through color in terms of class and the politics of kitsch versus high-end.