American Dream

Artemio Rodr?guez's engrossing meditation on love, women, human frailty, political conflict and more

Published on LatinoLA: February 1, 2006

American Dream

La Mano Press, a professional art studio and publishing house dedicated to promoting the art of printmaking, announces the publication of the book AMERICAN DREAM, a collection of the prints, illustrated books and drawings created by acclaimed printmaker Artemio Rodr?guez in the past ten years.

The first retrospective publication of Rodr?guez?s work, AMERICAN DREAM is an engrossing meditation on love, women, human frailty, political conflict, the Day of the Dead, and the act of crossing the border in pursuit of the book?s title theme, which the artist deftly employs with both irony and sincerity. Artemio Rodr?guez was born in Tac?mbaro, Michoac?n, M?xico in 1972 and began his career in the arts as an apprentice to master book printer Juan Pascoe. He immigrated to the United States in 1994 and has made the creation of prints his specialty for more than a decade.

?This book is a portable, permanent retrospective?an offering I hope gives the viewer a more complete idea of my oeuvre and serves as an inspiration for others,? said Artemio Rodr?guez. ?While my work is intensely personal, sometimes even autobiographical, my goal is to create art that surpasses the individual to communicate on a universal level.?

Channeling all the expressive power of a graphic novel, the prints collected in AMERICAN DREAM are rendered in the simplicity of black and white and printed on paper that resembles medieval parchment. Rodr?guez?s prints provoke the full range of human emotion, from a feeling of spiritual devotion elicited by an elaborate woodcut chronicling the miraculous appearances of the Virgin of Guadalupe to the uncomfortable visceral response prompted by sharply-etched cut-lines depicting immigrants being pursued across the border. While endlessly inventive and diverse, the body of work collected in AMERICAN DREAM collectively reveals an ongoing preoccupation with the urban and the rural, the poetic and the critical, the fantastic and the real, a Mexican dream as well as an American one.

?La Mano Press aims to enhance the public's knowledge about the graphic arts and the enduring quality of hand printed work,? said Silvia Capistr?n, co-founder of La Mano Press. ?The publication of AMERICAN DREAM is an important event in the field of printmaking that sends a positive message about the value of this art form and will share Rodr?guez?s work with a larger audience.?

Currently, Artemio Rodr?guez is a Creative Capital (New York) grantee. He has exhibited in Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the U.S., and his prints belong to several museum collections. In addition, Rodr?guez is a sought-after book illustrator and has created the prints for nine titles, including WOODCUTS OF WOMEN, published by Grove Press in 2001, and the limited edition book LAS FABULAS DE ESOPO, a dual Spanish and Nahuatl translation of Aesop?s fables published by the National University of Mexico.

A 218-page hardcover book with a retail price of $29.00, AMERICAN DREAM consists of 10 black-and-white photographs and 209 black-and-white illustrations. An introduction by renowned graphic art collector Ricardo Perez Escamilla, a transcript of a conversation between Rodr?guez and the Mexican poet Salvador Ortiz, and an annotated bibliography by Rodr?guez?s mentor, master printmaker Juan Pascoe, appear in AMERICAN DREAM in both English and Spanish.

Trucatriche, a distributor of international books headquartered in Chula Vista, California, will distribute AMERICAN DREAM in the United States. The book also will be available for distribution to Europe, Mexico and Latin America.

The Los Angeles book release party is scheduled for February 23, 2006 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Art Catalogs at MOCA, located in the Pacific Design Center at 8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069. Rodr?guez will be present to sign books.

For a schedule of book signings and additional information about AMERICAN DREAM, visit www.americandreamthebook.com. For distribution information and to stock AMERICAN DREAM in the United States, call (619) 426-2690 or write to info@trucatriche.com.

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