Monday, July 6, 2009

The Language Barrier Falls

How I met Walkind Rodriguez

One thing leads to another. Otuwana invited Rafael Perez-Conception to his show here in April 2007. That evening Rafael gave me his card (with the stamp of the Embassy of the Dominican Republic) and suggested I call him. He is an artist (as well as being a diplomat) and he offered to curate a show here with his Dominican artist friends and his own work. Thus I was relieved of my curatorial duties for once and we had a show here the following December.

Walkind Rodriguez was one of the six artists (all Dominicans except for a New Yorker) and in the midst of some excellent paintings, his work stood out, etched on aluminum, a very moving and surreal self-portrait. (I asked him about it recently. Unfortunately for me, it's sold!)

We speak in fractured French. My high school Spanish has been replaced in my brain by French, and even though he knows more English than I know Spanish, it seems that we get by in the language of the country where we now live. Walkind is one-third of the group show "Quatorze Juillet" a week from tomorrow and his paintings represent the "Liberation" part of the equation.

I expect a tower of Babel of art lovers here (at least English, Spanish and French and maybe more) and that to me is...liberating.

Pictured: "Corneta" (instrumento), acrylic on canvas, 92 x 89 cm., 2009. Price on request.

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