b. 1980, La Soledad, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Lives and works in Mexico City
Rodríguez is known for his drawings, paintings, and ceramics that explore the male body, sexual desire as a creative impulse, and issues of gender and identity. Inspired by classical paintings, naïve art and porn, his playful work reveals scenes of men naturally engaged in their games and fantasies.
Primer Encuentro (First Encounter) is the painting that opens the series 'Costumbres Amorosas de los Animales' (The Loving Habits of Animals).
The idea for this painting has been manoeuvring in the artist's head since 2013. Although, in the first sketches, the man wore a rhinoceros mask. When he started working on the series for his solo exhibition at Fortnight Institute, New York, in October 2020, he was going through a very emotional stage in which he thought a lot about the transcendence of the human love experience. He then found a BBC article that aimed to explain the biology of love. Biology uses the term Love Stages to describe the different cycles humans and animals experience in their love relationships: sexual desire, romantic love, and companionship.
The overall motif of the exhibition was to explore the similarities between human and animal behaviours when interacting with other living beings. Primer Encuentro is also a sort of fable about love at first sight. The character is naked in a mysterious and exotic jungle with Henry Rousseau's touch. He embraces a gigantic rhinoceros, in a magical encounter, under an intense orange afternoon sun that permeates everything with a golden hue, to Rodríguez that light cast a touch of eternity and a sort of solemn happiness.
The paintings in the series all have a short text written on the back of the canvas. Rodríguez imagined the moment when two people meet for the first time as two inevitable forces colliding. The animals he related to the most were rhinoceroses with their brute and intense force, mainly because they are solitary, very territorial and practically blind creatures. They were portraited in early medieval drawings wearing strange armours.
The back of Primer Encuentro (First Encounter) reads:
We, two irresistible forces that have met,
lonesome and armoured, a little clumsy and blind,
surrendering ourselves to a greater love.