BiographyRodolfo's artwork incorporates printmaking, hand-blown glass, ceramics, mixed media sculpture, and performance, and explores the relationship of the body to industrial forms and social norms. Originally from southern California, Rodolfo received an MFA in Printmaking with a minor in Ceramics at the University of Iowa in 2012, and a BFA in Printmaking from California State University, Chico in 2007. International and national exhibitions have featured Rodolfo’s artwork, at venues such as the Liu Haisu Art Museum, Shanghai, China; the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI; the Janet Turner Print Museum, Chico, CA; Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA; the Quad City Art Center, Rock Island, IL; the Sioux City Conservatory of Music, Sioux City, IA; the Green Building Gallery, Louisville, KY; and the City Gallery, Lexington, KY. In addition to his work as Executive Director of Calliope Arts, a collaborative workspace for screen printing, woodcut, intaglio, and lithography in Louisville, KY, Rodolfo is a Visual Arts faculty member at Kentucky's Governor's School for the Arts. He has recently attended artist residencies at Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA, 2017, and Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2016. In summer 2018, he will work as a fellow at Mildred's Lane Complex(ity), Beach Lake, PA, a 96-acre installation and research space created by Mark Dion and J Morgan Puett.
Through assemblage, ceramics, hand-blown glass, performance, printmaking, and sculptural installation, my work explores collecting, archiving, and our relationships to the human body. The most memorable times in my life are instances of bodily failure, and their influence on social interactions. Though these experiences are embarrassing, we all have at least one legendary story of physical malfunction to share, and feel the simultaneous urge to conceal it and explain it. From serious illness to burps, flatulence, and halitosis, I ask viewers to enter 2D and 3D spaces filled with colorful reinventions of the inner workings of their bodies, as well as devices to cure or prevent bodily mishaps. Assemblages of found objects like funnels, tubes, and sex toys propose alternative anatomical mechanisms, to inspire and reframe conversations about parts of the body that we often ignore or subdue. Industrial and organic forms function together in lithographs, etchings, and sculpture, creating an imagined world that merges the approaches of a compulsive hoarder and a methodical archivist. My installations include extensive, ordered collections of artifacts from the 19th- through 21st centuries. By placing found and handmade objects in conversation with one another in invented systems, I question the rational and irrational ways that we work to control our bodies.
-Rodolfo Salgado Jr