Creating a female Dominican mythical creature w/ Camille Rodriguez: Artist Spotlight
Camille Rodriguez is a second-generation American who was born in Miami, Florida to Dominican immigrants. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She honed her artistic voice and skill through her studies at school and her culture. For as long as she can remember she was fascinated by the arts and started drawing at the age of 12. She enjoys working with different mediums and textures often mimicking the patterns she grew up seeing in and around her home.
My most recent body of work deals with the exploration of my cultural identity and the relationships I carry with those in my life. From mimicking the patterns, textures, flora, and fauna that surrounded the landscapes I grew up in. To literally sourcing material from my family’s homes to make garments, paintings, quilts, and other forms of work. My surroundings and cultural identity feed directly into my work.
Exploring where one comes from is vital to understanding who you truly are. In hopes of familiarizing myself with my Dominican heritage, I stumbled upon the Ciguapa, a female Dominican mythical creature that is often depicted in my work. The mythical creature is said to roam around the mountains of the Dominican Republic nude with long mangy hair and backward feet. Even though she is said to be evil and grotesque her stories inspired me to create these works of art. I see her as an empowering and at times heroic figure for being impenetrable by society’s perception of her and being able to manipulate those who pass judgment on her. I too have always had long mangy hair and grew up with podophobia which is why I find her backward feet fascinating and another reason why she is my muse.
The mediums I work in range from painting, collage, performance, installation, quilting, and even ceramics. Being a multimedia conceptual artist allows me the freedom to address the same concept in numerous methods. It provides different ways for the audience to engage with my work. Which I feel like I also subconsciously do because I struggle with wanting to be heard by everyone. I also consider the wide range of mediums as different languages to reach my diverse audience.