Carlos Rodriguez: Costumbres Amorosas de los Animales (The Loving Habits of Animals)
The title of this exhibition is derived from a 1945 book, of the same title, on the study of the biological and loving habits of animals. In Rodriguez’s new paintings and ceramics, he explores the physical similarities and amorous practices between animals and humans. The perpetual act of love, tenderness, joy, and companionship is present throughout, a departure from the more sexual but tender queer male Eigures usually depicted in his work. In the painting, Abrazos en los Arboles, Consuelo (Hugs in the trees, Comfort), both man and koala have tears running down their face.
Costumbres Amorosas de los Animales, can be read similarly to a fable, imbued in mythology and symbolism. Early fables depicted animals engaged in human-like situations, intended as moral lessons to the reader. The paintings depict different scenes, beginning with Primer Encuentro (First Encounter) and concluding with Reino Apacible (Peaceful Kingdom), inspired by a utopia where beasts and humans return to a primordial paradise. Referencing the myth of Narcissus, in Reino Apacible, the figure discovers that in his reflection, it’s not just him that he observes, but the world, composed of what he loves. And in the end, a playful revelation becomes clear, the animals contemplate their human reflection.