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Ex Graphic Novel Artist Shows Controversial Feminist Art

PHOTOISISRODRIGUEZATENCION

By Irma Rosado

San Miguel de Allende graphic novel artist of Niñají, Isis Rodriguez, will be exhibiting an “evolutionary” show entitled, “Legends from the Realm of Nepantla” on October 14.

Isis first moved to San Miguel de Allende seven years ago and embarked on the first bilingual graphic novel for kids called, Niñají (Neen Yah Hee), a graphic novel of more than five books that teaches children Mexican values and conflict resolution. The novel awarded her recognition in San Miguel.

Isis claims that the current body of work that she is doing is an adult version of her graphic novel for kids, only this time she uses the techniques of the Great European Masters instead, using the cartoon as a conceptual tool to talk about conflict resolution.

Previously, Isis was as an avant garde artist in San Francisco, California. She first received her BFA from the University of Kansas in 1988 and moved to San Francisco to attend the Art Institute and pursue her career as an artist. In 1997, she used her art to protest the pimping and abuse of exotic dancers in San Francisco strip clubs. The name of the show was, “My Life as a Comic Stripper,” and many of her works were used by the activist group, Exotic Dancer Alliance, helping win a class action lawsuit against the Mitchell Brothers for $2.85 million dollars in 1998. Isis has often said that, “Exotic dancing is not a moral issue. It’s a labor issue.” In 2007, she arrived in Oaxaca, Mexico, via a radical artist residency called “La Curtiduria,” run by contemporary Oaxacan artist, Damien Flores. There she began a new series of works, “Enter with Discretion,” that showed women wearing pasa montañas, (ski masks). Isis claims that these works are about evolution and not revolution. “I am a modern myth maker using contemporary symbols, like the pasa montaña, which is not only a Mexican symbol but a universal symbol, to talk about the fact that the conflict no longer exists outside of us; it’s now inside of us. “I am painting my own personal conflict, using myself as an example, and I will be one of the few women artists in the history of art that is creating an epic series of paintings, more than 36, showing the conflict from it’s beginning to its end. That is why my work is evolutionary.”

What makes her work controversial is that the women not only wear pasa montañas, but that Isis puts them in military uniforms, capes, and lingerie, setting off a storm of Facebook attacks and debates over the relevancy of her work. Is she catering to the patriarchal paradigm? Or is she empowering women?

“Legends from the Realm of Nepantla” will open to the public Saturday, October 14, from 4–8pm at Galeria Nepantla, Pablo Yañez 9, Col. Independencia.

For more information, contact the artist at isis@isisrodriguez.com

 

Art

Work by Isis Rodríguez

Sat, Oct 14, 4–8pm

Galería Nepantla, Pablo Yañez 9, Col. Independencia

isis@isisrodriguez.com

 

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