Rodrigo Richardson is an emerging artist of diverse Caribbean heritage. He spent his early childhood and adolescent years on the isle of St.Croix.
“My brother and I were fortunate at a young age to visit family during summer voyages to Aruba, St. Maarten, St. Vincent, and a few countries in Europe. Traveling was my first shift in consciousness, and my parents viewed travel as a necessity and not a luxury” ,says Richardson. This travel sparked his early appreciation for Indigenous and African-Caribbean art, culinary, music, and photography. After relocating to Florida and studying Economics at FSU he developed a conscious understanding of economic disparities and race within the Diaspora. During his studies, he traded and collected masks, sculptures, and sacred objects from Africa to reconnect to his origins and make a living.
Rodrigo recalls as a child he would peel paint chips of the outside walls of his home and arrange them into collages. In middle school, he learned fundamentals of perspectives, watercolor, ceramics, and acrylic from artist Leo Carty. In high school and early college, his expression was focused more on Photography and poetry as hobbies. “Becoming an artist was never encouraged as a career option,” says Richardson. His reawakening began about a decade later with vivid dreams and visions.
To materialize his visions, relearning to paint would be mandatory. Eager for knowledge and understanding of art, he contacted Nigerian painter/friend Pita Ohiwerei. Ohiwerei in Richardson’s words liberated him, “I cannot teach you to paint or to be an artist; it is already inside of you, and up to you to bring it out.” This was the moment that inspired Richardson to create and explore visual arts. “I felt like there were no rules, my expression along with a deteriorating perspective of social constructs shifted my paradigm. Working through my intuitive paintings began my journey of self-healing.
The African Diaspora and Indigenous people of the Caribbean are inspirations for his art. His works encompass various mediums oils, acrylics, pastels, and African/European textiles. He maintains a sustainable aesthetic by recycling textile remnants and found objects. Richardson’s work is informative, historical and provocative. Through this work, he intends on enriching the viewer visually, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally by invoking the subconscious mind.