Artemio Rodríguez (Mexican, b. 1972) was born in Tacámbaro, Michoacán, México in 1972. He studied printmaking under Juan Pasco, master printmaker at Taller Martin Pescador (Kingfisher Workshop) in Mexico City. At the age of 21, Rodríguez immigrated to Los Angeles and became a printmaker at Self Help Graphics. He also co-founded La Mano Press in 2002 in Los Angeles before relocating to Michoacán in 2008 as La Mano Gráfica, a gallery and printmaking studio. Rodríguez directs the Library of Illustrated Books (Biblioteca de Libros Ilustrados, BLI) including its traveling library, the Bibliográfico, a converted 1977 Toyota, one of his many public projects and a companion to the Graficomovil, a 1948 delivery truck converted into a gallery and printmaking studio. Rodríguez is known for his linocut prints as well as his murals, vehicles, and children’s books. Influenced by both European medieval woodcuts and Mexican cultural symbolism developed by artists like José Guadalupe Posada, Rodríguez’s style emphasizes simplicity, clarity, and narrative. His images come from contemporary icons like American cartoons and chicano culture and historical traditions like mythology, surrealism, zodiac signs, and Mexican costumbrismo. A poet at heart, Rodríguez uses the physicality of the printmaking process to write stories in images. His work has been exhibited internationally; is held in the collections of many public institutions including the Seattle Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Library of Congress, and Museo José Guadalupe Posada; and is published in the book American Dream.
Rodríguez’s new works emphasize some of his best-loved figures – skeletons, devils, animals, children, and royalty of Michoacán – in acts of celebration, seduction, and play. He captures a multitude of experiences within one moment and one image. Entire scenes of a play, entire poems, unfold in stark black lines. "
- Paige McCray, Davidson Galleries
Read more from Artemio Rodriguez's Artist Feature here.