“Apocalypso” Is a Revelation of Contemporary Socio-Political Discourse

The works of prominent Cuban-American artist Edel Rodriguez will be proudly displayed at the County College of Morris (CCM) Art Gallery in its next exhibition.

The exhibition, titled “Apocalypso,” opens March 2 and closes April 6. An opening reception, free and open to the public, will be held on Thursday, March 2, from 6 – 8 p.m.

“Apocalypso” is a very appropriate title, says Brian Sahotsky, Art Gallery director and professor, Art & Design. “The direct but playful conversation between the words apocalypse and calypso inform a flashpoint of contemporary socio-political discourse. Calypso will likely bring to mind the sounds of rhythmic vocals and colorful dances, a music style rooted in Caribbean identity and an inherent multi-culturalism.”

He adds, “Notable is the fact that apocalypse derives from the Greek word for a revelation. The works by Edel Rodriguez function as precisely this type of revelation, in essence, revealing the complicated overlays of Cuban-American identity, complete with themes of tides (cyclical and reliable elements) and undercurrents (mercurial and sometimes calamitous events).”

Rodriguez was born in Havana in 1971. He was raised in El Gabriel, a small farm town surrounded by tobacco and sugar cane fields. In 1980, Rodriguez and his family boarded a boat during the Mariel boat lift and settled in Miami. For the first time, Rodriguez was introduced to and influenced by American pop culture. Inspired by personal history, religious rituals, politics, memory and nostalgia, his bold, figurative works are an examination of identity, cultural displacement and mortality.

The work in this exhibition is a collection of paintings, drawings and published material that examine the tides and undercurrents which have led to our present-day cultural and political moment. Themes of war, migration and unsettling extremism are mixed with poignant personal reflections in graphic, colorful and, at times, controversial imagery.

The CCM Art Gallery is located inside the Sherman H. Masten Learning Resource Center on CCM’s campus, 214 Center Grove Road, Randolph. Gallery hours are Mondays through Saturdays, from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.