Rolando Rojas is a leading contemporary Mexican visual artist from the region of Oaxaca known as the Isthmus of Tehuantepec; an area of Mexico known for mystical qualities that have inspired so many important local artists over the years. The work of Rolando Rojas is no exception; his work is inspired by the legends, stories, and myths of the Zapotec culture that have permeated his life, many of them passed down to him by his grandmother, great grandmother, and great-great grandmother.
In his colorful paintings, Rojas portrays this mythical world and interweaves it with deeply personal narratives formed out of the artist’s own experiences, present and past, many of which are drawn from his childhood growing up in Tehuantepec. Recurring motifs, such as the cosmos, the sun and the moon, and a series of mysterious creatures (both real and imaginary) inspired by his grandmother’s storytelling, are hallmarks of his paintings and printmaking, as are universal themes of fertility, sensuality and music.
The images in his work are replete with movement and sound; magical remnants of ancestral Oaxacan memories that appear to be in dialogue with each other. Their dialog is often represented by music – a recurring theme in much of the artist’s work. The color palette in Rolando Rojas’ compositions is brilliant, vibrant and almost monochromatic, and is also enhanced by unique textures that are masterfully achieved by mixing earth and the marble dust of Oaxaca with paint. In this way, Rolando Rojas infuses his artwork with the hues and soul of his home region.
Rolando’s art is strongly influenced by his background in printmaking. After completing his formal education in Architecture at the University Benito Juárez in Oaxaca and earning a Bachelor degree in Art Restoration at the Instituto de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Rojas went on to study with renowned Japanese printmaker Shinzaburo Takeda, a pivotal figure in Oaxaca printmaking who became an important influence in his work. Over the years, Rojas studied and became proficient in several artistic techniques and media, including drypoint linoleum, lithography, metal, etching, ink, mixed media, and ‘Oleografia.’ This last technique combines oil and earth to produce prints on paper, simulating the appearance of an original piece, and favoring the rich colors and textures that have become a signature of his work.
In addition to focusing on his own work, Rolando Rojas is also devoted to showcasing the work of other contemporary artists, building on a long tradition of notable Oaxacan artists such as Rufino Tamayo, Francisco Toledo, Rodolfo Nieto and Rodolfo Morales. Rojas routinely collaborates with other contemporary Oaxacan artists to further the legacy established by these giants of the Mexican artistic tradition.