Rodrigo Lara Zendejas
My artwork is about using metaphor and personal memory to highlight topics around politics and identity. On the one hand, I sculpt as a Mexican national with shared community values, issues, and questions as my compatriots. On the other, I sculpt as an individual-mining my own memories, exploring past textures, and presenting uncanny scenarios through a whimsical, metaphorical lens.
Raised in a religious family in Mexico, I was an altar boy and often played in the local cemetery. My experience of these environments’ unique aesthetics influenced my art practice. The arrangement of the statuary, the style of portraiture, and the feel and color of the materials impacts the way I work with different mediums. In particular, the concept of memorialization provoked me to embed my personal memories, energy, and emotion into my work in an effort to connect the various facets of contemporary and historical politics so many have endured.
On a technical level, my work combines formal training with my own discoveries and creative consciousness that I developed over time. For me, the process of drawing, painting, and making sculpture is very intimate. Clay, in particular, allows me to draw three-dimensional forms in space, engaging the viewer in an intimate physical relationship with the often challenging issues my installations present. Although my work is political, the process is deeply personal, and at times, even ironic. Without being didactic, I aim to develop of a kind of lighthearted—perhaps even irreverent—space in which to contemplate complex historical and political issues.