Born in Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1977. Studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes “Prilidiano Pueyrredón” from which he never graduated. Moved to Mexico on March 2000, where he had different jobs, from building worker to waiter, until he eventually decided to go back to school; in 2003 he entered the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado (ENPEG) from which he hopes to graduate soon.
Collective exhibitions: 2008: Caja Negra/Cubo Blanco (Black Box/White Cube), ArteBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Importe total (Total amount), Galería La Refaccionaria, Arte&Diseño Contemporáneo. 2007: Fierro Presenta (Fierro Presents), Café La Gloria, Mexico City; Mundo Comic (Comic World), Museo de la Ciudad, Querétaro, Mexico, Retas, Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City; MACO, Artistas Emergentes (Emerging Artists), Chilando, Mexico City. Usted está aquí, Arte contemporáneo mexicano: intervenciones a la ciudad (You are here: Mexican contemporary art. City interventions), Colonia Condesa, Mexico City. 2006: Decaedro: Proyecto para un muralismo zombie (Decaedre: Project for a zombie muralism), Banco Nacional de México, Mexico City.
Individual exhibitions: 2008: Monobloc, Galería La refaccionaria, Arte&Diseño Contemporáneo, Mexico City; 2006: Untitled, Galería La refaccionaria, Arte&Diseño Contemporáneo, Mexico City.
Vision of art
1. Choose a work that represents you, describe it in relation to its format and materiality, its relation with time and space, its style and theme; detail its production process.
A series of seven drawings in which two recurrent characters of my work appear, it’s a way of making them visible, ordinary, daily, and also making a record of my own actions, since every time I got on the stage with a band friend of mine (like Austin TV) asked for it, to celebrate with everyone there. It’s amazing being on that side of the stage and feeling everyone screaming, the light, the movement, all that energy that had to be captured with colours, markers, feathers, inks, glazings. That led to a mixture of techniques and gestures starting with a stain and ending up on the shady details. I highlight this series because I think it works as a sort of window to other works of mine, a lab that provided me with tools to reflect upon the act of drawing.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
Those who know how to look and read without prejudices the realities within the comic books also know how to find within them an endless source of visual references. And even though they are of massive access, few can trascend the imitiative admiration in order to turn a hobby into a language of its own. Rodrigo Sastre proved to have been able to from the pastime, from the hobby to the real appropriation, adopting the narratives, themes, solutions and structures of the aesthetics of comic books to narrate his own story. Through his works we might be able to guess what his fears are, the complications of his love life, his way of seeing life and his privacy, where the reasons of his circumstance are represented (and covert) by monsters, villains, spectres, aliens, implausible situations, superpowers and heroes, sometimes triumphant, but mostly loser and unsuccessful.
In his work, the comic book is there to narrate the life of a regular, average human being. Through the filter of fantasy and science-fiction, his daily life becomes a visual hybrid, where one no longer discuss what one would like to be, to openly expose what one is.
When getting to know the work of Rodrigo Sastre, we also get to know the aspirations of those idealizing reality, from the fictional biographies of fantastic characters that we have adored since childhood. The value of his works lies in the fact that he has eventually understood that there is no need to fantasize endlessly on impossible skills or superpowers. Rodrigo has come to the conclusion that doing art, is indeed a superpower on its own.
Axel Velásquez, México City, February 2006.
3. In reference to your work and your position in the national and international art fields, what tradition do you recognize yourself in? Who are your contemporary referents? What artists of previous generations are of interest to you?
New Figuration, Pop Art, Art Brut are the first that come to mind and that I always think of. Literature and theory: Fernando Pessoa, José Saramago, Albert Camus, Karl Marx, Marcel Proust, Walter Benjamin, Emmanuel Lévinas.
Cinema: Christopher Nolan, Terry Gilliam, Gaspar Noé.
Artists: Marcel Duchamp, Paul McCarthy, Gabriel Orozco, Tercero un Quinto, Los Carpinteros.
4. Choose works or exhibitions from the last ten or fifteen years which in your opinion were very significant and explain why
A few years ago, there was an exhibition by Jorge Macchi in Mexico, at MUCA Roma. The piece was called Un charco de Sangre (A puddle of blood), 1998-2004. What I couldn’t forget was the way in which he drew these sentences on the wall, sentences that led to the same place, as a sign of a general feeling that makes us consume that type of news that we find repulsive, and yet we like.