It may seem an audacious goal, but through her bold and provocative art, Rodriguez has already touched the hearts and minds of millions on the most important social issues of our time: human rights, immigration, food security, climate change, and economic justice.
Rodriguez is also known for her leadership in establishing innovative institutions that promote and engage new audiences in the arts. In 2001, Rodriguez co-founded the EastSide Arts Cultural Center in Oakland, California. In 2003, she helped established the Taller Tupac Amaru print studio to promote the historical practice of socially-engaged printmaking. Additionally, Rodriguez is co-founder and president of Tumis Inc., a bilingual design studio that serves nonprofits all over the United States. In 2009, she co-founded Presente.org, a U.S.-based, nationwide organization dedicated to the political empowerment of Latinos via the internet and mobile messaging.
I make contemporary art from the perspective of a first-generation American Latina artist who grew up in the age of the internet, “freetrade” policies, and anti-immigrant hate. My art practice serves as a tool for education, agitation, and social critique.
My practice stands on three key pillars. First, a focus on printed matter – prints, posters, books – in order for the art multiples to engage with various settings. Second, the effective incorporation of technology via viral graphics, mobile activism and the internet. Third, an intimate relationship with people in the front lines of social change. I research, interview, shadow and submerge myself in the culture of the change makers, sometimes as a supporter, other times as an observer.
The global fight for migrant rights is a theme that particularly inspires and shapes the content in my work. My pro-migrant posters are often transformed into a tool with which to organize and inform, images of change rather than adaptability. They become acts of public intervention and power, expressing some of the most serious issues of a community.
My art is about shaping myths for our age, with heroes and foes. My work follows, documents, reacts to, critiques, reinterprets and reframes the larger discursive debates that are shaping the lives of people around the globe. My work evolves in a setting that is rapidly changing. As I explore new tools for new challenges, what remains consistent is my focus on people as a social force.