Folia Weekly Magazine: Above the Ruins: Gamaliel Rodríguez Captures the Inevitable DECAY of Civilization Through an Aerial View

by Daniel A. Brown

Societies rise and fall through evolution and entropy, the latter a universal principle of inevitable collapse, more certain than any progress. Visual artist Gamaliel Rodríguez chronicles this decay viewed from the sky, shifting through the rubble from the vantage point of 1,000 feet. Using ballpoint pen, colored pencil and markers on paper, along with acrylic inks on canvas, his large-scale drawings present images that are high-resolution ruminations on civilizations’ imminent dissolution. Clusters of trees jettison through broken structures like the mushroom cloud of an atomic bomb. Large silo-like buildings appear splayed out like bloated corpses, split in two as tendrils of knotty foliage gather to engulf them. Rodríguez’s landscapes are powerful glimpses of abandoned structures toppled by the shifting weight of civilization’s onward march, halted by financial gains now turned to losses. Rodríguez’s new exhibit at Crisp-Ellert Art Museum, A Third Way to Look at You, pertains to his ongoing commentary on these very same cycles.


“The title refers to the Finnish theorist Marcos Casagrande. According to his theory of the Third Generation City, in the first generation of cities, humans coexist with nature; in the second, built structures are erected and diminish nature’s presence; and in the third generation, upon the collapse of the second, nature grows back through the ruins of architectural remains and absorbs the human-built environment back into itself,” explains Rodríguez. “I like to create in my work a ‘Fourth Generation’ from a state of economical struggle. I state that we may [all] confront [this] in a near future.”


Read the full article here on page 25. 

August 30, 2017