Lucha Rodríguez: Proximity Spectacle
Paradigm Gallery + Studio is pleased to present Proximity Spectacle, a solo show of “knife drawings” by Atlanta-based Venezuelan-Panamanian artist Lucha Rodríguez. Proximity Spectacle is a continuation of Rodríguez’s signature works on paper featuring her bas-relief technique. Thousands of superficial cuts on the paper’s surface create movement and texture as they interact with light. These patterns become a mesmerizing labyrinth that the artist uses as a purposeful distraction to ground herself amidst daily information overload. The collection will feature three series of labyrinths: corners, levels, pathways, and organic forms, that invite illusion, intimacy, and internal introspection. Rodríguez applies her mastery of knife skills that she has harbored for a lifetime, creating a delicate environment of reflection held together by the essence of craft. Proximity Spectacle will be on view on the 2nd floor of the Paradigm Arts Building (12 N. 3rd Street) from November 3 through November 26, 2023, with a public opening reception on Friday, November 3 from 6:00-8:00 pm.
Present in all of her work, Rodríguez uses the color pink to marry the anatomical to the psychological, comparing the trajectory of her internal thought process to the journey of information inside the twists of the ear canal. Her creative process is influenced by her background in hypnotherapy, centered around a routine of mindfulness, meditation, and taking inventory of instinctive motion using a concentration tool. Rodríguez holds clay in her hand and begins to carve informed movements to drown out the influence of outside stimulation. She escapes the complexity of identity politics, of trying to hold pride in self-expression without being boxed by race or gender, but into the labyrinth of self-indulgence: the urge to hide from the world’s perceptions. She develops her designs until eventually transferring them to paper, rendering shapes from directional cutting. Rodríguez explains, “I kept coming back to the sensation of getting lost. My mind needed distraction and to do something with my hands, adding new perspectives to the same shapes. It’s like a flow, I never know where the work is going to take me.”
Rodríguez’s explorations steer into the realm of magical realism, allowing the fluidity of the work to lead her to enigmatic, abstract ideas. Rodríguez chose to use a metallic finish on paper, inspired by the concept of Fool’s Gold. As light hits the manipulated paper, illusions of color, depth, and pattern create a fantastical spectacle of pathways, levels, and rooms. While the eye is attracted to the gleaming nature of the labyrinth, it becomes lost in the experience of finding new perspectives of the same subject.
Rodríguez’s aptitude for translating subconscious emotion into knife drawings adds to the notion of craft being a way of working when creating fine art. Her skill cannot be replicated through simple imitation, as it is supported by Rodríguez’s family traditions, dexterity, background, patience, and appreciation of light.
Friday, November 3, 2023
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Thursdays • 10 AM – 6 PM
Fridays • 10 AM – 6 PM
Saturdays • 11 AM – 6 PM
Sundays • 11 AM – 5 PM
And 7 days a week by appointment.