Rodríguez Diez, a novel artist
By: Patty Monserrat
The artist, Jorge Rodríguez Diez (aka R10), inserts himself into the arts in a novel way, expressing and pondering ideas, at times sarcastically, using his grasp of design without the limits of a profession conceived to create works on demand.
Known in Cuba for his solid work as designer, art director (for example at Subastas Habana and Galerías Habana), advisor to cultural institutions and a teacher for several years, when he was invited in 2008 to participate in the City Art Show, organized by the Design and Visual Arts Provincial Centre of Havana, Rodríguez Diez decided to enter the visual arts for the first time using his weapons of choice.
“The difference is that as a designer one responds to the needs of the person hiring you, but as an artist it’s possible to tackle the matters one cares about, without the influence of someone else’s criteria”, Rodríguez Diez told Cubaplus.
A year after that first experience, Rodríguez Diez presented the “Rorschach Exhibit” at the Centre of Visual Arts Development in the Cuban capital that was received enthusiastically by the public. The exhibit title is based on the psychological diagnostic projective method and technique of Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922), which consists of 10 inkblots that each person may interpret differently.
Among the showcased works, which the late renowned Cuban critic Rufo Caballero termed a “pictographic” series, is “The Good Shadow”, in which a sheep looks for a shadow under different trees with branches representing the maps of China, Russia, the United States and Venezuela.
In 2011 R10 presented his second personal exhibit, Simbolos (Symbols), together with Susana Arronte, and presently he is working on his third show: Ay que delicia, doña, to be exhibited in December at the Villena Salon in the Arms Square of Old Havana. For this, the artist announced he will use 1950’s advertising styles combined with contemporary issues of Cuban society, which may include common Cuban food products or means of transportation.
A great lover of literature, Rodríguez Diez tells us that literature and the life around him facilitate his ideas and he takes prodigious notes while the ideas mature. That is why, he tells us, he is able to finish his work in a short time, since he has already dedicated weeks and months in it’s conception.
His work has been exhibited in South Korea, Portugal, Poland and the USA. Among his awards are the 2007 Best Cultural Poster for “El cine alemán se muda a Acapulco” (German movies move to Acapulco). He received the same award in 2008 with “La cosa está clarísima” (The thing is crystal clear), as well as the award delivered on the occasion of Frida Kahlo’s birth centennial and the 50th anniversary of Diego Rivera’s death.