#bronx #artist #subway @devonrodriguezart

Interview with Devon Rodriguez


What concept or narrative is behind your work?

My work is about documenting the world around me, typically on the NYC Subway. My job is not to direct reality, but to let reality direct me. I like to remain hyper aware to what’s going on around me. I try not to disturb my subject in any way. The last thing I’d do is ask someone to allow me to photograph them for a painting. I like to be patient, and just hope that the world around me will reward me with deep and soulful incidents and characters. Painting what I see helps me understand the world around me. 

I often like to paint big works. To me, this makes the image feel very familiar and normal, as if you’re sitting in front of the subject in your everyday life. Sometimes my paintings are interpreted as invasive, but it doesn’t stop my admiration for people, sometimes very unusual people. 

New York City isn’t what it was but it can still be dangerous, especially when you’re in someone’s face with a camera without their consent.
— Devon Rodriguez

What is the price range of your art? 


What is your ultimate goal for your artwork?

My goal is to reach a point where my work reflects my personality, or I develop a signature look. I like to paint what looks good to me and hopefully to others. If I’m really lucky people will find the work to be emotive.

How much time does it take you to create an artwork? 

Anywhere from a day to 2 months. Depending on the size and amount of detail that I put into the work.

What other artists have you shown with? 

John Ahearn, Kiki Smith, Jane Dickson, Aaron Nagel, Blake Neubert, Emilio Villalba, and Kit King.

Do you ever venture out of your creative process to try out new things? 

Yeah lately I’ve been learning a lot about the art of tattooing! It’s a really fascinating process. I’ve been sticking to working on what I know for now, realism and portraiture. 

What is your education? Exhibition history? What awards have you won, and what collections are your works in? 

I graduated from the high school of Art & Design in 2014. I also studied drawing and painting at the art students league of NY. I’ve shown in group shows in Abend Gallery, La Mama Galleria, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’ve been published in The NY Times, The New Yorker, and Vice & ID. My work is in many private collections around the US. 

How many works have you sold recently? 

I’m lucky to say that I sell pretty much everything I paint. Lately I’ve been doing so many back to back commissions, which are guaranteed sales of course.

What inspires you?

Just observing the world and just constantly thinking about humanity. Also, looking at other artists’ work that I think are really saying something, while doing something that’s really pleasing to the eye.