184 x 259.5 cm
170.5 x 262.5 x 16.0 cm
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Purchase made possible by the bequest of Elisabeth Lauener
Carissa Rodriguez (born 1970 in New York, USA) knows the art market from both sides. As a long-time co-director of the Reena Spaulings Fine Art Gallery in New York, she has an intimate knowledge of buying and selling art. And she is an artist herself. She first began exhibiting her art in the 1990s, after which she turned her focus toward her work at the gallery. As of 2009, her list of exhibitions has begun to grow again considerably, and her works have been shown in Mexico, Zurich, Kanagawa (Japan), Rome, and San Francisco, among other places. In 2012, Rodriguez, who originally studied literature in New York, described her “lateral entry” as an artist as follows: “Part of me feels like a non-artist trespassing in this very field of art, dealing with the problem of belonging. So for me there’s always this restlessness, like that of a migrant.” And yet, she has long been able to prove that her extraordinary approach to art is extremely productive. Rodriguez wields her approach to create conceptual works that focus on the creation of value on the art market and the interaction between the artist, dealer, and collector. Her works, which are primarily in the style of installations, display a technical perfection and a play with surfaces.
“Are You That Somebody (Black)” consists of a marble plate into which a golden Cartier ring has been set somewhat off-center and at a distance that is difficult to reach from the sides the panel. The work is the result of her collaboration with a collector, a buyer and seller of marble, who asked the artist to include this material in the design of her work “Ancora tu” (2011). The ring in “Are You That Somebody (Black)” was sponsored by her gallery in exchange for her exhibiting the work there. In the installation, the marble and ring have been removed from their original functions and connotations as a way of shedding light on the gift economy and on the materials themselves.
“Juste un clou” is the name of a jewelry collection designed by Cartier that plays with the form of a regular steel nail, converting it into a precious material. Carissa Rodriguez’s work of the same name turns this game around. She creates luxurious, shiny bronze nails, cast just for the occasion.
The installation “WLACK BIDOW” is a sound composition that addresses today’s marketing strategies in pop music.
The wall work “Orange Curve” (2015) belongs to a series of monochrome pictures cast from salt whose forms refer to the pictorial vocabulary of the American Hard Edge painter Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015).