Rodolfo Edwards | Artist in Residence

In June, we welcomed returning, New York based artist, Rodolfo Edwards for a one-month screen printing residency. He sat down with us for a talk about his work:

How does a new work or project usually start for you?

Generally, my work is a consequence of previous works that acquire more aesthetic and stylistic resources, but always focused on the line of space, architecture, urban issues, and the uncertain future of chaotic growth. Currently, painting serves as the foundation of my work, along with graphic linear drawing.

What graphic technique did you mainly work with here at AGA LAB? And why do you work with this technique? How does it fit into your artistic practice?

This was my second residency at AGA LAB, and I continued with screen printing because it’s a technique that allows me to work on a larger format and is also very similar to the acrylic on canvas technique that I primarily use.

Before, I did some small screen prints, repeating the same image and using the whole screen to make one image. This time I used the screen to do image work. I used the same drawing but made several different works. Each piece is unique and not a copy of another piece. I also wanted to research the use of different materials, like textiles, plastics, cardboard.

Is there something in your art practice that you often don’t get around to and that you now actually found the time for?

I wanted to master more techniques on a big scale. In New York I don’t have the space, so I wanted to come to AGA LAB. I need a big studio like you have here. I got a second chance to be here, and I came well prepared, with a drawing I wanted to screen print. I came better prepared than the first time, when I did not know exactly how I wanted to work.

Moreover, this technique is time-consuming, and in a residency, there is more dedicated time available.

What did you have in mind before you came here?

It was a painting that I had, that I did with acrylic. It was one of my favourites that I transferred to photoshop and cleaned up a little bit. That’s the main one. I started working with this image, taking some parts off.

It gets depth by painting in layers, underneath, on top. I used one image, to experiment different outcomes by using different materials and techniques.

I have been moving around with that, learning some techniques with colour, with Maarten, he gave me some tips to work with. Upon my return to New York, I’ll look for a place where I can continue to work in big format printing. Taking another drawing maybe, that’s the main idea. But this time I accomplished what I wanted to do.

Were there any difficulties that you did not expect?

I am mostly happy, I did find some difficulties with the size but I expected these. I worked with this size before. So, I knew what it was like, working fast because of the scale. The paint dries faster in the summertime and the different materials are challenging. You have to know how to handle the screen and clean it, and all the logistics. I did it by myself – I had no assistance – but I usually worked after 5 pm when the studio was closed, and I could just work on my own.

Sometimes you get caught up with so many ideas and you can’t do it all. I had to decide what to try now and what to leave for some other time. One month is very condensed, it’s not that long. I would need more time to do more. One of the suggestions during an AiR Talk was to try things on a small scale first, to experiment, and then make a selection for big print, but I found that I needed to experiment on a big scale because it makes such a difference.

Rodolfo presenting his work at our weekly AiR Talk with Aurélie Sorriaux, Robert Risteski and fellow Artist in Residence Judith Collell.

What was your experience with the other Artist(s) in Residence?

Judith was very supportive, and we speak the same language – Spanish – she was very helpful. She’s got a good eye and it was very helpful to show her the work and talk about it. She came with me to buy the materials and choose textiles. Sometimes you need a helping hand ,and she was 100% helpful and gave good feedback. Her work is very different from what I am doing. She works with latex, the body, pigments, while mine is architecturally influenced – but in sensitive artistic ways we understand each other and she is very approachable and empathic and it was really really nice, to have her opinion in everything.

You concluded your residency with a presentation in De Bouwput. What did you want to show?

I wanted to showcase the entire creative process during my stay, with an exhibition that encompasses different screen-printing drawings that I developed. The presentation is more about the process, rather than about the results. It’s about the materials, the way to present the work, the different kinds of textiles.

Thank you Rodolfo, it was nice to have you back!

More work of Rodolfo Edwards can be found on: