Ulrich Project Series: Clare Rojas

Ulrich Project Series: Clare Rojas

Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, KS

February - March 2006 

Rojas illustrates her made-up world through carefully detailed gouaches on panel and paper. The flat images and limited color palette recall printmaking, a media Rojas studied as an undergraduate at the Rhode Island School of Design. These small, knowingly naïve works straddle both a primitive nostalgia and our current culture as characters appear and reappear in different fantasies: women and men, and women and animals connect in both quiet and charged moments. A colored beam strikes out of a dark-haired girl, impaling the man who stands before her, a cartoon heart popping out of the backside of his body; in another painting, the tables turn as the boy impales the girl with the same bright beam.

Rojas is constantly subtly poking fun at gender roles and representations of women in our current media creating a commentary that is at once ironic and funny but also deeply critical . She draws from the vernacular of the craft movement, something often associated with "women's work," to create an allegory on how women are perceived in our contemporary culture, a culture that undresses women not to celebrate sexual freedom but to turn a profit. In Rojas's narrative, nature acts as a refuge from the bombardment of degrading images of women: "I can be in a beautiful natural surrounding and be healed from the traumatic everyday experiences I feel from living in the city where I am being personally attacked with degrading, conditioning imagery of women either objectifying and exploiting themselves or having it done to them."

Clare Rojas was born in 1976 in Columbus, Ohio and is an internationally shown artist, currently based in San Franciso and is part of the Mission School. She works in a variety of media, including painting, installations, video, street art, and children's books.