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Nancy A Rodrigo
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Park Slope



ARTIST STATEMENT: New York-born artist Nancy Rodrigo uses her life experiences as a medium. “I’ve been making art since I was a child; throughout my life, the media and content have changed and evolved to reflect my experiences. I see art as a means of expression and a therapeutic process.” Her work ranges from dark oil paintings of women, done in the 80′s when she was coming out (she began her art career under the name Nancy Weinstock) to rich, colorful biomorphic paintings‒with vaginal imagery‒influenced by the Feminist Art Movement, including initiators Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro. She has exhibited her work at galleries in the New York City area since 1980. Nancy has done a series of works on canvas and mixed media constructions, the “Collective Memory Series.” These intricate pieces are constructed from found objects, organic and synthetic materials, paints and old photographs. The compositions are surreal, political and psychological. “Art transcends culture, class, race, religion and time; it is an essential component of our humanity.” Humanity has occupied Nancy’s work for almost 10 years. In 2001, she became disabled with severe psoriatic/rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome, both autoimmune diseases. She was forced to end her dual careers as a social worker and artist and step back, re-evaluating her life and her art. “Illness forces us to be in the moment, and can give us an opportunity to change our lives-whether we want to or not. We can either become victims to it, or learn to survive and adapt.” In response to not being able to paint at her easel and build her mixed media constructions; she drew highly detailed works in pen and ink from her bed. While traveling the subways to doctors’ appointments, she began drawing the people on the train, sometimes spending the entire day traveling simply to observe people. “When I’m in the subway, I search for people who don’t notice me. I draw them quickly-and can complete portraits in less than 10 minutes, roughly three subway stops. My goal is to capture the person’s essence, mood, and how they relate in this very dense public space. I love subways; I’ve always found them comforting and fascinating. They’re one of the few places where such a wide range of people inhabit a very tight space. “The diversity is incredibly rich, and I draw each person as they are‒not necessarily attractive by society’s standards‒but it is my intent to depict the human form in its truth.” Her ‘Subway Series’ has grown into hundreds of drawings and she plans to expand it to other levels. “I see this project as evolving into many things: paintings, large scale projects in public spaces and collaborative art events. This work is an opportunity for the public to see themselves, plainly, beautifully, and realize that we are all interconnected and dependent on each other. We’re here for a brief time, and we need to take a moment to see beyond our prejudices-and smile, laugh at ourselves and see the common threads. Technology is creating distances as well as joining us through social media. There’s a social revolution happening, I believe these developments make the world smaller, but it also creates physical and emotional distance. These portraits‒all done anonymously‒without judgment, can help close the gaps and force us to look at ourselves and each other with compassion.”
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  • Morning Kiss
    2011
    oil on canvas
    biomorphic imagery inspired by orchids, labia shapes, and sunlight. Painting is sold, prints available

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    2011
    oil on canvas
    biomorphic and labial imagery Painting is sold, prints are available

  • Bluebells
    2009
    watercolor on Arches paper
    Plein air painting done at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

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  • The park
    5x7
    pen

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  • Memories of her
    2006
    Mixed media on mahogany
    Found object construction made with glass, hand made lace doilies, stamps, oil and acrylic paints, mirror, wire.

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  • Gingko in October
    2008
    Photograph
    Prospect Park is a source of peace for me. I feel very fortunate to live in such a richly diverse urban community, and yet be minutes from an oasis filled with beautiful trees and creatures. The park

  • Subway series portrait
    2008
    pen and ink, water soluble graphite on paper
    This is one portrait from the "Subway Portrait Series". Each portrait is done without the person being aware that I'm drawing their likeness. I work very quickly, and add details in my

  • Biomorphic series
    2012
    oil on canvas
    20"x16"
    Biomorphic series oil on canvas 20"x24"

  • Nesting
    2011
    oil on linen
    16"x14"
    Biomorphic series

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  • Biomorphic series
    2016
    charcoal on paper
    4"x 6"
    The great cluster fuck of 2016

  • Biomorphic series
    2016
    4"x 6"
    Biomorphic series The great cluster fuck of 2016

  • Biomorphic series
    2016
    charcoal on paper
    8" x 10"
    The great cluster fuck of 2016

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