“I believe when I create a sculpture, space is as important as form; there must be an interaction with space so that when I project, there’s a reflection like a mirror. I am not too concerned about what is there; more importantly, what is not there. It is this interaction of space with the volume of the sculpture that dictates the depth and height of the piece, sometimes creating an illusionary effect, but beyond illusion. This interaction with space allows the sculpture to expand to monumental feelings of strength, regardless of the sculpture’s measured size.
    My inspiration comes from experience and interpretation of life; an endless, growing process. My art is a reflection of my life long quest, my inner journey. On this path I have learned many things: compassion for all people, those who are less fortunate than myself.
    The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched. They must be felt with the heart... my art is the nutrient which has fertilized this spiritual path; it is my visual statement. I am thankful for the gift of art; it set my soul free and awakened me to the light within.
     I want to be remembered not only as an artist, but as someone who made a difference in people’s lives. My life as a sculptor has always consisted of challenges which has enabled me to melt into the center of my longings and to emerge as a better human being. Sculpture has given me the most valuable nutrient- a vision and hope for the future.
     I found that teaching has confirmed my philosophy on the importance of reaching a broad cross-section of people in the community of art; it is a natural extension of my sculpting career and my belief that art has been Ivory-Tower bound in a myth that says it is created for an elite group.
     I do not emphasize my heritage, but hope to reveal in both my art and teaching, a universal approach which is the theme, really, of the integrated workshops: the fact that people are just people, whether handicapped, or of a different cultural background; we all have the same feelings, desires and hopes and all come together with a common interest: sculpting.”

      Rodriguez’ work can be found in the private collections of: Paul Anka, Billy Dee Williams, former Governor of Ca. Jerry Brown, the law firm of Rita Bell (San Francisco Transamerica Building— 1982), Jesse Beagle, Odia Coates, Dr. Norman Salzberg, Dr. Sumner Marshal, G.G. Wasserman, and many others.

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 ISHMAEL RODRIGUEZ Professional Artist Statement