Jorge Rodriguez Gerada
IDENTITY SERIES: TINA (November 2009)
Jorge Rodriguez Gerada’s residency in Ljubljana took place in October 2009. During the residency he produced a new drawing for his ongoing Identity Series. An exhibition of his previous works from this series and selected works from his new series Urban Analogies was shown at Kamera Gallery in Kino Šiška Center for Urban culture. In Urban Analogies series Gerada blends portraits with the textures of their cities by incorporating restoration transfer methods and the transparent quality of charcoal to echo the harsh beauty and heartfelt visual poetry of the Identity series inside a gallery space.
Identity series is a project based on establishing a conversation with the community by utilizing art to initiate the dialogue. Gerada searches out a protagonist whose large-scale portrait in charcoal will become an urban icon. His main prerequisite in choosing the model is that they have a sense of belonging to the city where the drawing will be made. Once the protagonist has been selected, he draws a monumental portrait on a weathered exterior wall in the section of the city where the protagonist lives. As soon as the rendering begins to fade, the veracity and perfection of the artwork looses importance and allows us to delve into the concept of identity and its fluxion.
About Jorge Rodriguez Gerada
Jorge Rodriguez Gerada was born in Santa Clara, Cuba on February 5, 1966. His family immigrated to the US in 1970 and relocated to New Jersey. While in college, he became more aware of the power of art and its ability to impact the community. During this period he became a founding member of the group Artfux. The group was active from mid 1989 to mid 1992. After the rupture of Artfux in 1992, Rodriguez Gerada continued working with the Artfux splinter group Cicada Corps of Artists. Cicada Corps was an entity made up of autonomous artists who would collaborate. During these years he altered countless billboards, was part of numerous exhibitions and undertook guerrilla performances that called the attention of the media for their audacity. All of these activities were focused in and around the New York City area.
In 2002 he started working on the Identity Series: Gigantic charcoal portraits of anonymous people scale the walls of buildings in different cities around the world. These drawings question the controls imposed on public space, the role models that represent us and the type of events that are guarded by the collective memory. In 2008 he developed his project EXPECTATION, a sand painting made in the likeness of Barack Obama that covers 2 1/2 acres (one hectare) of land with 650 tons of sand and gravel. The reasons that inspired EXPECTATION resonated throughout the world thanks to the massive media coverage (CNN, Reuters, AP, etc).
Rodriguez-Gerada now lives between New York City and Barcelona.