Devon Rodriguez’s bed room in his grandmother’s South Bronx apartment seems to be like any 23-year-old’s place could possibly: a flat-display television hangs on the wall, a checkered duvet deal with rests atop a lofted mattress and black drapes dangle in the window, ready to hide the daylight. But set up in the corner are the wooden easel and erstwhile nightstand, now a painter’s desk, that Rodriguez uses to make the hyper-realist portraits of New Yorkers for which he is starting to be recognized. A latest self-portrait (he has carried out 1 every single yr due to the fact 2010) known as “Reflection” rests from the baseboard and shows the artist in a Metallica T-shirt, a tattooed arm by his aspect, the reverse hand keeping a paintbrush. Future to it is “Jonathan” (2018), which depicts his cousin seated in a chair, his Keith Haring T-shirt in comprehensive check out.

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Rodriguez’s artwork career began, by osmosis, at the age of 8. “All my pals that ended up artists would do graffiti in the Bronx,” he suggests. “I was like, ‘All ideal, I’m going to.’ I didn’t even come to a decision. Executing graffiti was just all-natural.” When it was time to utilize to large college in 2010, he hoped to go to the Substantial Faculty of Artwork and Style and design in Manhattan and was required to post a portrait for the portfolio. He submitted a peach-toned drawing of a younger boy with gleaming eyes, his dim hair neatly lined up. “It was horrible,” he admits. He didn’t get acknowledged that calendar year, in its place attending his area significant school, Samuel Gompers (which closed in 2012). There, an art instructor served him with his portfolio, and he at last received into his aspiration institution, leaving the South Bronx for Midtown.





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