Seattle sculptor George Rodriguez is not afraid to address sensitive sociopolitical issues. Rooted in his study of traditional temple guardian figures from around the world, Rodriguez's highly individualized ceramic forms reveal the inherent commonality at our core. For this next body of work, he continues to explore themes of protection, inclusion and sanctity using the Chinese Zodiac as framework. Distilling the traits of individual family members and friends, Rodriguez renders decorative animal portraits distinctly related to their corresponding humans while presenting them simultaneously as one community. Pairing his characteristic playful grace with the regal quality of Ai WeiWei’s Circle of Animals, Rodriguez’s sculptures extend the same reverence embodied in traditional guardian statuary to his own people. They are the protectors, the allies, the companions.
A graduate of the University of Washington’s MFA program, Rodriguez is deeply involved with Seattle’s art world. He is the 2016 recipient of the Museum of Northwest Art's Luminaries’ Patti Warashina Award for Emerging Artists and is currently featured in a solo show at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. His work has been acquired by Chicago’s National Mexican Museum of Art and exhibited in a solo show titled Where is Our Exile? at the University of Texas El Paso. Drawing on his travels to 26 countries on three continents backed by the Bonderman Travel Fellowship, Rodriguez seeks to bridge his Chicano heritage with Thai, Peruvian, Bolivian, Mongolian, Egyptian, Taiwanese, and Indonesian civilization and mythology.