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

About Carlos Rolón/Dzine

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