Espíritu de la Tierra, Alma de la Cultura
(Replay) Ramón Rodriguez: Inside the Artist’s Soul
Translation of Ramón Rodriguez done by his wife, Debbie Rodriguez.
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Editor’s Note: Debbie Rodriguez, a former Peace Corps Volunteer, has been married to Bolivian artist, Ramón Rodriguez, for eighteen years. They moved from Bolivia thirteen years ago with their two sons, Mayu, 15 years old and Rumi, 13. Debbie manages Ramon’s marketing and promotion while doing consulting for local organizations and artists. She is a writer and also facilitates writing groups. Palacio Magazine asked Debbie to share Ramon’s story.
Ramón Rodriguez: Spirit of the Land, Soul of the Culture
Palacio Magazine; May 2015
By Debbie Rodriguez
Ramón Rodriguez, painter, sculptor and musician was born and raised in small towns, pueblitos, near Cochabamba, Bolivia. His was a family of tenant farmers. At times, after the arduous work of clearing, tilling, and planting was done, the landowners would take over the fields and move Ramón and his family onto land which others had not been able to coax a crop from. The injustices of the system that Ramón, his single mother and his five siblings experienced, were not lost on him.
The Colors of Ramón Rodriguez
The colors of the earth make their way onto Ramon’s canvases, as do the images from his deeply rooted indigenous identity. Ramón speaks the language of the Incas, Quechua, and reflects the traditions and history in his work. Social justice and Mother Earth are other recurring themes. His work is imbued with the spirit of the land and soul of the culture.
After graduating from art school, Ramón was catapulted onto the Bolivian national art scene by winning a national grand prize for his sculpture, “Cristos Rotos”, “Broken Christs”. A series of work had been inspired by the many marches he witnessed of campesinos, peasants, making great sacrifices while demanding justice. His winning piece depicted a campesino with barbed wire etched into his face, lending a face to oppression.
Ramón Rodriguez Celebrates His Roots
Ramón’s work celebrates his indigenous roots and speaks for those marginalized populations whose voice has historically been silenced. His work advocates for the preservation of ancient cultures so that their wisdom and beauty can inspire future generations.
Ramón’s commitment to Long Beach is reflected by his desire to share his talent. He’s connected with schools, galleries, museums, churches, nonprofits, and cultural institutions to teach art and music workshops, create murals, and play Bolivian folk music with his family. In doing so, he has enriched our city and given us a rare glimpse into beliefs about culture, beauty and identity that we would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience.
For More of Ramón Rodriguez
Find more of Ramón’s work at RamonRodriguezCrespo.com or see his Facebook page “Ramón Rodriguez Crespo”. To reach Ramón or schedule a visit to his studio, send inquiries to RamónRodriguezCrespoArtist@gmail.com or call 562.673.7042.