Today we’d like to introduce you to Lucha Rodríguez.
Lucha, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
As I reflect on what’s lead me to this point in my life, I realize I have been on a creative journey for as long as I can remember. As a child in Venezuela, I enjoyed drawing, painting, and creating things from paper. At home, I would bring out all my crayons, especially the pink ones and take over an area of my family’s kitchen, a hallway or anywhere I felt compelled to create. Interestingly, all of these early passions and experiences play a part in what I do today. As a young adult, my creative journey brought me to Atlanta to pursue a BFA in Graphic Design and later on an MFA in Printmaking where I started exploring paper as the focus of my practice. During my college days, I was able to exhibit and start selling work through local galleries which finally led me to create art for a living. Fast-forward to 2019, I still feel compelled to create and make something new every day. There is a lot of freedom in my practice, allowing scale and concepts to grow alongside my ideas. I manage to balance large paper installations that can take over entire walls with smaller framed works of hand-cut paper. Atlanta has become my second home, and I enjoy living and working here. It is exciting to see how the arts scene continues to grow and expand not only in the visual arts but also in music, dance, and theater.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do, why, and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I’m constantly making new work in the studio, exploring paper in different ways through various techniques and concepts. This is how I have been able to show new works that I feel excited about. I typically have several projects in progress, but my main focus is always the current series which at the moment are my Knife Drawings. Each Knife Drawing is hand made using an X-Acto knife to create small patterns over the surface of the paper. Only one color pigment is usually applied, and any other color variations are created by natural light and shadows. I build up layers upon layers. I’m most intrigued by intricate details and how light behaves over a surface, and often focus on these subtleties in order to bring an artwork to life. I would like for people to take away from my process that you can do a lot with very little. If you are an artist, your work can be made out of anything. The most important thing is to nurture your ideas and find ways to keep making art anywhere you are. I have been working with paper for over a decade now, and it still continues to surprise me every time I work with it. I often come up with new ideas and designs as I cut paper, so I always have a notebook ready to sketch down ideas. Being in my studio makes me want to create more and to improve my practice. I appreciate every minute I spend there, it’s a very special place for me, and I hope it will continue to be for a very long time to come.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
Finding the resources to support yourself as an artist. In the past few years the City of Atlanta, Office of Cultural Affairs has made an effort to expand their support by investing in local art and increasing open calls for public art projects. Atlanta is also home to various nonprofit arts organizations which are constantly connecting artists with schools, neighborhoods and local businesses. There is still a lack of support for artists who create work that is ephemeral, performative, and experiential. All creatives deserve to be compensated equally for their work. If we want to see a city with a thriving arts scene, then we have to increase our support to local arts organizations so that they have the capabilities to pay artists for their work. I think we are already on the path of appreciating and investing in the arts, but more institutions need to strive for sustainable models when contracting artists labor.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
If you are in the Atlanta area, you can view some of my work at Kai Lin Art Gallery in the Westside throughout the year. I will be having a show there opening August 2nd. On June 6th, I will be part of a paper group show traveling through the Lyndon House Arts Center, Robert C. Williams Museum of Paper-making GA Tech and The Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon. You can also follow me on Instagram @luchapink where I share more details about upcoming exhibitions and current projects. If you are interested in acquiring my work online, you can do so through CuratorLove on the artsy website.
- Website: love-lucha-now.org
- Instagram: @luchapink