Isis Rodriguez is a contemporary myth painter who utilizes popular imagery and symbols of the Americas such as Zapatista masks, military attire, lingerie, xoloitzcuintles, shamans and still life to tell the story of conflict and the death and resurrection of the self.
Her passion for art began as a little girl who use to copy Hannah-Barbera and Walt Disney cartoons. Her parents supported her ambition by enrolling her in after school art programs to nurture her creativity.
When she became an adult, Isis attended the University of Kansas and graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Art in 1988. She moved to San Francisco California where she was selected for “ Bay Area Now II” at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, showcasing San Francisco’s promising talent. In those days, her works were influenced by activism and cartoons. To know more about her early works and activism, you can go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isis_Rodriguez.
In 2007, Isis attended a 6 month artist residency in Oaxaca called, “La Curtiduria”, (Leather Factory), to explore the meaning of “nepantla”. Nepantla was a 16th Century word coined by the Aztecs to mean, “in the middle,” to describe what is was like undergoing a conquest.
“For me, it was an eye opening experience when I discovered that much of my own personal conflict was related to my family’s lineage of past generations descending from the conquests. I realized that it was important to use my art as a tool to reveal and to resolve my own conflict in hopes of showing clues to others who desired personal growth and peace.”
She created a series of contemporary myth called “Legends from the Realm of Nepantla” where her interpretation of conflict was showing Zapatista masked women in lingerie and military attire, sparking debate of whether her work was liberating women or oppressing them. They were exhibited at the Festival International Cervantino of 2008, Museo de Alhóndigas de Granaditas, Guanajuato, by curator, Gloria Maldonado Ansó in her exhibition, “Insurrectas y Estridentes en México a 100 años de Simone de Beauvoir”.
10 years later, her concept of nepantla has evolved into a current series that the artist revealed at her Day of the Dead show, “Perros Sagrados y Sus Chamanes” in 2018, Galeria Nepantla, San Miguel de Allende. https://www.isisrodriguez.com/galeria-nepantla
The series pays homage to healers and the 3,000 year old Mexican hairless dog, the Xoloitzcuintle. Once used in ceremonies of death and buried with their owners to be guides into the afterlife, the Xoloitzcuintle is a beloved dog of Mexico, currently on the brink of extinction and classified as a “primitive dog” http://xolostarango.com.mx/
Currently, Isis resides in San Miguel de Allende, where she continues to paint and give art classes in the human body. Her works can be seen at Galeria San Francisco who represents her.
Currently, Isis resides in San Miguel de Allende, where she continues to be a painter from the realm of Nepantla.