Posthaste with artist Reggie Rodrigue

by Dege Legg

Lafayette artist Reggie Rodrigues sits down for a Posthaste Q&A.

This month's ArtWalk hits on April 10 and one of the new, upcoming artists featured at Gallery R will be Reggie Michael Rodrigue. Yep, he uses all three namesjust like an assassin, but he ain't about dead presidents, he's about art, man. His current exhibit, titled Les Ailes: the Artwork of Reggie Michael Rodrigue, revolves around images of Louisiana egrets painted on actual antique, Acadian windows. It is a riotous blend color with vivid depictions of birds so lively they break the 5th wall in your MIND. "The images allude to south Louisiana, spirituality, stained glass windows, and aspiring to transcend our current economic, social and environmental difficulties," says Rodrigue. "As well as our struggles with computer technology, physics, genetics, and ecology."  J. Matthew Roberts from Matt Rock & The Powerboxx, provides an original score for the exhibit. And Habitat for Humanity will be presenting recycled art made by local children increase awareness. Be there April 10 at Gallery R, Downtown, 116 E. Congress. The exhibit will run through April.


You utilize egrets in your work. Why egrets? Why not abused monkeys or some marvelous swordfish?
I'm trying my best to be a beacon of inspiration and beauty in a world that offers little.  Ebola (abused monkeys) and mercury poisoning (your marvelous swordfish) don't exactly fit the bill. Egrets are the perfect symbols for the freedom, balance, dignity and grace.

When confronted with a difficult piece that refuses to take shape, are you more likely to A) Trudge through and finish, B) let it flow at its own pace, or C) party down with some freaky weirdness to get the creative muscles loosened up?
It would have to be C. You can't be afraid of failure. Most of the time mistakes lead to better work.

What medium do you most loath?
As far as visual arts, printmaking is from the devil. It is backbreaking work. You have to be cleaner and more precise than a heart surgeon to pull it off.

Why art? Why not a nudist camp counselor?
Art is a cruel and demanding mistress who steals your heart, your money, your life, and then forces you to proclaim and demonstrate how much you love her. But she looks so good and whispers about the good times you're going to have so sweetly, you can't say no.

I see Habitat for Humanity is involved in your show. Wouldn't it be strange if the HFH people showed up in a Hummer, dressed like Cradle of Filth, and blasting death metal? How would you react?
I'd laugh my ass off. I'm really happy to have them on board. Tremendous cause, I'm hoping to forge a relationship with them through this.

Check it. Hypothetically speaking, I want to be an artist actually I just want to sell crap to rich people who think I'm a genius. How do I get in on that scene?
Reality television, porn, and ripping off Andy Warhol are all viable avenues to get to the top of the art game these days.

At what point in your coming of age did you suddenly think, "I think I can do this. I think I can be an artist." Extrapolate.
I've always felt the need to make art. However, I'd didn't have the courage to take it seriously until I was 25. I hit a crisis point, and decided to return to UL to earn a BFA.  I've never looked back.

You mention transcendence in your press materials. Riff.
When I talk about transcendence, I'm talking about a shift in perspective that allows for a change in action or direction that leads to a higher state of awareness. That's what great art is all about.

What's J. Matthew Roberts got cooking in his musical Crock Pot?
I asked Roberts to help me with the musical score for the show. Music is very important to me and has influenced my art greatly. I envisioned a strange brew of Cajun, Zydeco, World Music, New Age and Progressive Electronica to compliment the art which is both very traditional and very progressive at the same time. I knew he was perfect for the job.

Dude, I just drew this badass stoner-dude. Critique my art.

I'd title it Untitled / (You've Got Another Thing Comin'). You're very close to something here. This could be the "Mona Lisa" of Abjection. The clinched fists and face indicate severe constipation. The "loose foot" is the sign of a promiscuous wanderer.