Plants, Motifs, and Cultural Symbols Are Superimposed onto Digital Portraits by Sam Rodriguez




June 30, 2022

Grace Ebert

All pictures © Sam Rodriguez, shared with authorization

San Jose-primarily based artist Sam Rodriguez could liken an summary leaf sprouting from a younger woman’s garment or a Pac-Guy-esque rendering floating in close proximity to a subject’s deal with to scenic components. His portraits, which he’s been referring to as “cultural landscapes” for the past handful of yrs, are topographies of identity that entail changing trees, rivers, and horizons with social markers. “It’s intriguing to see the countless variants that each and every particular person carries when we unpack who they are,” he shares with Colossal.

Educated by the analog strategies that have been the basis of his early exercise, Rodriguez has been performing digitally given that 2018, rendering portraits rife with symbols. He references an abundance of levels evocative of a visual enhancing system but incorporates each and every component as if a attribute of an unseen augmented reality application. At times, he deconstructs a nation’s or organization’s flag and recontextualizes its coloration palette, while other individuals, he superimposes crops, negligible emblems, and bits of typography into densely constructed motifs. His operates count on discovery, he shares, conveying further more:

During the approach, you soak up, sample, and cook visual components and later on you are left as an viewers member wanting to know what it is that you have just built. In that regard, I come to feel that each individual piece (outside the house of commissions) is a form of flavor test… This strategy is in all probability a byproduct of our time interval the place electronic and actual physical co-exist so seamlessly. It should really be observed that I am mimicking what so lots of musicians have accomplished given that the 80s, in particular in hip-hop with sampling for beats.

At this time, Rodriguez is at function on a ebook about how prosthetics and synthetic intelligence have to have rebalancing the romantic relationship in between humanity and engineering. You can follow news on its release on his Instagram, and head to his shop to increase a single of his prints to your selection.




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