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My Favorite Artist Series: Illustrator Edel Rodriguez Discusses The Work of His Favorite Artist

Today we continue our new series, My Favorite Artist, where we ask accomplished, well respected artists working today, the people we admire, who their favorite artists are and why. As you might recall, illustrator Laura Smith was the first artist interviewed for this series. We recently asked illustrator Edel Rodriguez who it is that he has drawn inspiration from. Edel was kind enough to break from his busy schedule and explain what it is about the work of printmaker and sculptor, Kiki Smith that inspires him.

I first came across the work of Kiki Smith in the early '90s while I was studying at Pratt Institute. Her emphasis on the human anatomy, process, and telling personal stories through one’s art caught my attention when much of what I was being taught were ideas about minimalism and abstract expressionism.

Her delicate sculptures, drawings, and etchings, with an emphasis on the handmade, struck a chord with me at a time when I was trying to find a direction in my own work. I continued to follow her work throughout the years as it expanded into full blown gallery and museum installations. I enjoy how she has continued to change and grow, always going in different directions and continuing to experiment.

Choosing a favorite living artist is very difficult because I like looking at such a wide variety of work. I chose Kiki Smith because her work ethic continues to inspire.

About Illustrator Edel Rodriguez
Edel Rodriguez was born in 1971 in Havana, Cuba. He received a B.F.A. in Painting from Pratt Institute in 1994 and an M.F.A. from Hunter College in 1998. Using a variety of materials, his work ranges from conceptual to portraiture and landscape.

Edel's work has been featured in Print's 1998 New Visual Artists Annual and on the cover of the 2004 Communication Arts Illustration Annual. It has also been regularly selected to appear in the pages of Communication Arts, American Illustration, Society of Publication Designers, and The Society of Illustrators Annuals. He is also the recipient of both a Gold and a Silver Medal for editorial illustration from the Society of Illustrators. He has illustrated three children's books, "Mama does the Mambo", "Oye Celia", a biopic about Celia Cruz, and "Float Like a Butterfly", a story about Cassius Clay. A stamp he created for the United States Postal Service was released in the Summer of 2005.

Edel's artwork is in the collections of a variety of institutions, including the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., as well as in the private collections of a variety of writers, actors, designers, businessmen, and political figures.

You might also enjoy reading, My Favorite Artist Series: Illustrator Laura Smith Describes The Work of Her Favorite Artist

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