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George Rodriguez addresses sensitive sociopolitical issues through his highly ornamented figurative ceramic sculptures with a tongue in cheek ease that is evident in the sense of warmth his works convey. Themes of culture and identity recur throughout his sculpture, celebrating the unique attributes of diverse cultures as well as the similarities that unite us all. Rodriguez’s ceramic sculptures eloquently communicate the emotions they embody, figures spanning a wide range of forms and personalities. Aspects of certain forms echo elements of African, Italian, and South American ceramic traditions, yet the resulting pieces are dynamically modern.
Benin is part of George Rodriguez's body of work from his 2020 exhibition, Urban Guardians. Says the artist, "I often find myself gravitating towards cross-cultural or multi-cultural objects, [as they] feel like a representation of who I am. The interchangeable heads and headless figures in Urban Guardians… give[s] people the opportunity to see and create their own “idol”[…] as unique as the individual who chooses it. As monuments around the world are being taken down and destroyed, people are searching for better representations for their communities. Impossible as it may be to represent all different viewpoints, there must be an effort made to make our public art world as unique as the citizens who feed and live within it."