Artist: Sheila Garret Rodriguez
Media: oil on canvas, embroidery floss, and yarn.
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist
On September 29, 2016 I interviewed Shelia Garret Rodriguez; she is an artist at California State University of Long Beach. She completed her undergrad at CSULB in Drawing/Painting. She specializes in fiber because that is the department that she is in. Another reason why she specializes in fiber is because it reminds her of home. This is her last semester at CSULB. Once she is finished she will obtain her Master’s in Fine Arts.
She used oil paintings to paint on her canvas. She painted her own body and a house as her head. Then she used embroidery floss to create the flowers on the canvas. Her message is that a home identifies who we are as a person. In this case, the painting reflects her identity because the exhibit is about her. A home is the most precious space that surrounds the people living it. That space each person lives in tells a story on how we behave, our memories, and our cultural. A home identifies many individuals.
The painting that she created with the oil painting, embroidery floss, and yarn was the most time consuming piece in her collection. She worked on this piece in summer. In the summer she created a ton of pieces, but only displayed a few in the gallery. The painting on the canvas is beautiful. I can tell that it took a long time to finish that one alone. When she stands in front of the canvas with her backed face to us, her body proportions are accurate to that of the painting. It was as if she was standing right next to the mirror. The house that she painted as her head is the first home that she bought with her husband. This is why it is important. However, she does not live there anymore, but it is still symbolic because it was their first official bought home. Now, even though they don’t live there anymore a part of that home identifies who she is. Furthermore, there are bobbed wires that she is holding in the painting. I asked, “You didn’t add blood to the painting even though there are bobbed wires, why is that? She said that she wants her audience to think if she is puling or holding onto the bobbed wire. If she painted blood it would automatically make the audience think that she is pulling the bobbed wires.
I enjoyed this gallery it reminded me of my grandmother. My grandma is from Mexico, so the flowers that are embroidery to the painting reminded me of the items that my grandma would bring back from Mexico. For example, the pots and purses that she brought back would have flowers. I did not know that a flower is a symbol of a cultural identifier. I find that beautiful because each region grows different flowers, so depending where you live will identify the space each person lives in. My home is precious to me and many others that’s why I enjoyed her painting known as, No Trespassing: Borders and Bodies.