San Jose-based visual artist and graphic designer Samuel Rodriguez depicts the unique cultural landscape via observations of people, their distinctive features and their surrounding environment. With his new exhibition Typefaces: Caras De La Misión, he examines social and cultural hybridity through sampling and remixing visual cues that we use to process identity in faces, typography, fashion, and architecture.
Caras de La Misión includes familiar neighborhood faces—both past and present—with tones reminiscent of the ‘80s and ‘90s-era Bay Area, and is dedicated to the resilient community of the Mission District. At a time of rapid gentrification and displacement, Caras de La Misión helps to forge a cultural bridge across the Bay Area, establishing a creative dialog between Latino communities in San Francisco and San Jose.
Samuel Rodriguez is a San José, California based artist whose work has shown in public art spaces, museums, companies, galleries, internet, and editorial publications. Rodriguez was self-taught for a number of years through graffiti until he later pursued a Bachelor in Fine Arts from California College of the Arts.
He has since blended what he absorbed from both opportunities to create his current aesthetic. Rodriguez is known for two kinds of portrait styles that he calls, “Topographical Portraiture” and “Type Faces”. Topographical Portraits, are made by stylizing a portrait with topographical lines and shapes in a similar manner to those found through images on geographic maps. Type Faces, incorporate typography and portraiture. Rodriguez developed these techniques in order to explore his interest in social, historic, and cultural hybridity.