WASHINGTON, DC.- Curator's Office
introduces emerging artist Olivia Rodriguez in her debut solo exhibition, Immortal Decay. The artist will alter the gallery space into an environment of fascinating decomposition through an installation of hyper-realistic discrete sculptural objects including mushrooms, bubble gum, fungi, insects, mold, mossy logs, larvae, and other overlooked natural and man-made detritus. An apt social and political metaphor for our times, the artist's project is grounded in keen scientific observation yet poetic transformation.
Rodriguez notes, "I am enraptured by the violence of nature. The beauty of decay captivates me: splintering tree trunks, lichen-encrusted tree bark torn from a tree in a storm, a desiccating crow carcass being devoured by a an army of dermastid beetles. A broken pine limb with freshly smeared pink bubble gum becomes a battle ground for wasps and flies hoping to partake in the sugar. I find beauty in mold just as with flowers in a garden, each unique, some brightly colored, others with amazing textures from crusty green tendrils to exquisite coral pink fluff. A fallen tree becomes an island, an enticing host to its own changing ecosystem of fungi, mold termites and their predators who provide transport of spores to the next host.
Mycological growth is ever present. It can be found in every environment, in both natural and man-made territories. Often it goes unnoticed as it aids in the decay of its host or protects the host from other predators. The process of transformation remains a constant cycle with one decaying organism feeding the next. Decay is the immortal conqueror, never stopping, always moving and reshaping its subject. I collect natural specimens in various states of active transformation. I hope to capture the intimate beauty of transformation in my subjects, stopping the natural progression of decay in my sculptures. In removing them from their natural contexts, each subject develops a personality and a story."
Olivia Rodriguez inaugurates the gallery's occasional Incoming series that is dedicated to introducing an emerging artist that has never had a solo commercial gallery or museum exhibition. Rodriguez studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has exhibited in group exhibitions at Pepco Edison Gallery, Washington, DC; Civilian Art Projects, Washington, DC; Sampson Projects, Boston, MA; 5th Dimension, Baltimore, MD; Galerie Tristan, Issy Moulineaux, France; Coolidge Corner Animation Festival, Brookline, MA; Artists at Large Gallery, Hyde Park, MA; Love Me 2 Times Gallery, Boone, NC; and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.