Artist Statement: I'm interested in the structure of identity expressed through portraiture. The portraits are deconstructed to examine the complex layers of our identities and personalities we consciously or unconsciously accept through our participation in culture. My use of colors and shapes create a sense of an emerging persona while fragmented and distorted forms are metaphors reflecting the constant flux of our identity. I want to reassess identity as an abstract idea that is intangible and can be questioned in order to form a new image of ourselves.
Born in Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico, Dante Rodriguez was raised in Lorain, Ohio in a Puerto Rican family. Always drawing as a kid, it was natural to study art in college. He received a BA in Studio Arts from Cleveland State University. Although his concentration was in Drawing, he took additional courses in painting, printmaking, and sculpture.
During his time at Cleveland State, he was a gallery attendant at the Cleveland State University Art Gallery where he learned art handling, exhibition design, installation and lighting. This experience eventually led him to a position as an Art Handler at The Cleveland Museum of Art and on to his current position as Mountmaker within the Exhibition & Design Department. After several combined years of gallery and museum experience, Dante took the plunge to start Wall Eye Gallery, a contemporary gallery space in the Gordon Square Arts District in Cleveland. After corralling six other partners, the doors of the gallery opened on November 2009.
Dante has also participated in community events, Dia de los Muertos in Cleveland, The Cleveland Museum of Art's Parade the Circle and Chalk Festival. He is a member of the Lorain Arts Council and is currently painting a mural for their ongoing mural project. His gallery credits include Cleveland West Arts League, The Rag Refinery/Pink Eye Gallery, Wall Eye Gallery, Mansfield Art Center, Cleveland State University Art Gallery, Doubting Thomas, Beth K. Stocker Art Gallery, Oakland Center for the Arts, Sandusky Cultural Center, and The Cleveland Museum of Art. His work is in numerous private art collections.