Carlos Rolón, ‘Study for Afrocomb’, 2016, moniquemeloche

About Carlos Rolón

Dzine—pronounced “design”—is the moniker of Carlos Rolon. Wary of stereotypes and pigeonholing, he shifts between easel painting, sculpture, installation, and large-scale murals, exploring cultural tensions, aspirational mobility, and outward appearances through a uniquely biographical, immigrant-focused lens. The artist’s work is largely concerned with “kustom kulture,” a retro-tinged blue collar aesthetic, and its relationship to faux opulence and upper-class aspiration. This focus on over-the-top glamour addresses Dzine’s personal grappling with his dual mainland-American and Puerto Rican identity. His series of crystal-embellished mirrors mimics the security gates of Puerto Rican houses, contradictorily alluring and keeping people away, while a series of ornate sculptural works reference the belts and trophies of boxing culture; such cultural objects allude to Dzine’s time spent watching boxing matches with his father as well as an out-of-reach upper-class lifestyle.

American, b. 1970, Chicago, Illinois, based in Chicago, Illinois