ROLANDO ROJAS STUDIO
There is a mystical world created by the paintings of Rolando Rojas, where color is the earth and the sky, and strange, but familiar, figures cast wary eyes on the viewer. When one first encounters Rolando’s work, one is struck by the power of his palette. If one looks deeper, nuances of the composition include interlocking shapes and lines that move the eye throughout the piece, with the grace of a musical composer.
There is a sense that Rolando has captured another place, another time, another dimension -- one that is replete with the most ordinary creatures, altered by the perspective of childhood. It is a sensuous place with innocent sensuality, but there is also a quiet energy beneath the surface, and in some cases, phallic images and rich fertile plains yet to be explored.
Rolando’s works are charged with multiple layers of meaning that make his art objects much more than paintings. Some are images that surface from his youth and others from the deepest reservoir of his unconscious. His vibrant ocher and muted reds are earth colors that directly reference his Oaxaca background. His archetypal figures are caught mid-step, like early childhood memories slipping into his consciousness. Surfaces are textured in some cases with actual soil from Sierra Madre de Chiapas, making a primordial connection to his Zapotec Indian ancestry.
Rolando’s treatment of the surface is built up with earth mixed directly into the paint then applied to the canvass. Rolando stirs his magical mix into a thick consistency then applies it as a shaman would his ash, blood and earth as a metaphor for the very creation of the original man or woman. He gathers up handfuls of various hues of earth pigment and mixes them by hand as his palette.
Today, his work remains deeply connected along thematically to his cultural history and the legacy of the Oaxacan visual arts traditions continues to impact his palette. It speaks of a deep connection to the grandmother who raised him and his life in a poor rural community. His grandmother became an archetype of his Mexican ancestral DNA and the embodiment of the narrative of his people. This unique focus and power in his composition allows his work to transcend any national boundaries and connects with a universal language represented by the work of artists like Wilhelm DeKooning, Robert Beachamp, and Gerhard Richter.
Rolando possess a deep creative impulse and passionate commitment to his Isthmus of Tehuantepec birth place. Rolando is described as an “Oaxacano painter,” an artist who stays pure to the aesthetic and visual history of the region of the Mexican Central Valley. In a relatively short time, he has become a master of this tradition and has achieved international recognition for his talent as an artist, with exhibitions traveling to the USA, Japan, France, Canada, Cuba, Argentina, and Puerto Rico. He is a painter who inhabits a world of the common place and yet brings forth a mystery and rich fantasy that continues to remind us of our potential to be vibrant, honest, and dedicated to our past as we embrace our future.