AUSTIN, TX.- The Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) presents Lordy Rodriguez: States of America. Rodriguezs decade-long project reconfigures the 50 states and explores the addition of five new states Hollywood, Internet, Monopoly, Territory and Disney that newly define our perceived geographic version.
Born in 1976 in Quezon City, Manila, Philippines and moving to the United States at an early age, Rodriguez grew up primarily in Louisiana and Texas, often traveling with his family across the country. Inspired by his study of maps on these trips, Rodriguez now reconfigures existing maps, creating imaginary compositions that are at once distinctly familiar and candidly absurd. These meticulous ink-on-paper maps depict elaborate, imagined geographies populated with misplaced cities and fictive landmarks.
Rodriguez is fascinated by cartography and takes it to the extreme, said exhibition curator Eva Buttacavoli. This project shows both his dexterity and growth over the ten-year time span of this project, and like charting a road trip, reflects upon changing memories, perceptions and new directions in his growth as an artist.
Based upon highly personalized decisions and careful research, each map relates to the artists own experience of America and its history. At quick glance however, Rodriguezs work could be mistaken for any other map that you may have seen in grade school. Upon closer examination, viewers begin to discover anomalies and peculiar juxtapositions. Accordingly, Rodriguez has cut the District of Columbia in two and distributed it between the states of Hollywood and Monopoly, symbolically locating our nations capital and its political power somewhere in between the influence of the entertainment industry and corporate America.