The Urban Network Office and AL Works, in collaboration with the Colombian Consulate in Shanghai, are pleased to invite you to the upcoming exhibition Self, by artist David Rodriguez, opening on the 18th of October at TM Studio (West Bund), located in the West Bund area of Shanghai.
David Rodriguez's self-portraits tell a story about identity and its treatment through the representation of the human face. This exhibition is a product of the artist searching themselves over the Internet to find endless faces and people sharing the same name — David Rodriguez. The results create a carefully edited public self-portrait of several anonymous David Rodriguez that are later isolated from their original context and made into the artist's own by drawing them.
This exhibition is centered around the concept of self-portrait, and the anonymity that a shared given name can have, in spite of this given name’s intention of providing authenticity and individuality to their owner. Even though every portrait of David Rodriguez is different, they are presented in Autorretratos as one, thus posing a new way of dealing with identity and the representation of the human figure in present times. A self-portrait where we do not see the face of the artist himself that suggests the idea of certain loneliness represented in front of the immensity of the world, in which there are copious amounts of other own selves existing concurrently.
The graphic representation of a face is an unavoidable practice that takes us back to the beginnings of humanity, with its interpretation shaped by socio-cultural trends. The 21st century and new technologies are not the exceptions, especially in years marked by the emergence of social media, where the identity and presentation of the SELF are based on an effective, successful, and very studied portrait.
The exhibition consists of different series of charcoal portraits. The first series, titled Self, is a group of 50 different portraits of David Rodriguez. This is not an individual David Rodriguez but rather a group of men of different ages, different countries, different backstories, but one thing in common: their name. The second group is a series of self-portraits from the artist himself, and the last one is one drawing that serves as a tribute to a man, whom you might guess is also named… David Rodriguez.
David Rodriguez (1984) is a Colombian-French artist. Born in Bogota, David moved to France in 2004 to continue his higher education, obtaining a M.A. in Art History from the world-famous Sorbonne University. David has participated in both group and solo exhibitions in cities such as Strasbourg, Paris, Nancy, Lyon, Austin, and Shanghai, the city he has been calling home for the past years.