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.
During his Bonderman Travel Fellowship (University of Washington , 2010), Rodriguez encountered an antique wall of monkey faces in Thailand that inspired him a few years later to create a series of wall-mounted sculptures portraying a variety of simian expressions.