When: Thu., Feb. 9, 6-9 p.m. 2017
In 2015, art historian Ruben C. Cordova curated a series of exhibitions across four San Antonio venues as part of a citywide Mel Casas retrospective that was meant to bring recognition to the late Chicano artist. Now Cordova will curate a retrospective at Centro de Artes celebrating artist Ángel Rodríguez-Díaz. Rodríguez-Díaz, who is of Puerto Rican descent, has called San Antonio home since relocating here in 1995 to live with his partner Rolando Briseño. “If I were to characterize him as an artist, the really unique, singular and astonishing thing about his work is how he used his self-portraiture as a vehicle for social commentary,” Cordova said. “He makes a critique of pollution, or fossil fuels, greed, corruption and war in the genre of self-portraiture." Cordova explains how, after unrolling canvas after canvas, he could spot connections with [Frida Kahlo and] other artists from the past — from Spanish master Diego Velasquez to Irish painter Francis Bacon. “What’s important to realize is that Latino artists don’t have a Latino framework,” Cordova said. “There wasn’t much Latino art when these artists started... I guess one of the big revelations for me is the connection [Rodríguez-Díaz] has with the whole history of art.” Two accompanying exhibitions of Rodríguez-Díaz’s “early works” are on view at FL!GHT Gallery (134 Blue Star) through March 3. Free, opening reception 6-9pm Thursday, on view 11am-6pm Tue-Sun through June 11.