Ordinary Glamour - Terry Rodgers


Columbus-based artist Terry Rodgers has made a national and international reputation for himself, so much so that his works have been received to mass critical acclaim in cities like Milan, Atlanta, Turin, Amsterdam, London, Cologne, New York and Los Angeles. A professional painter since the 1970s, Rodgers moved to Columbus from Washington, D.C. sixteen years ago because "this was a great place to work, quieter and easier to get around:' He lives in Bexley and works out of a studio in the Arena District.

Rodgers' technique is impeccable as he vividly and accurately captures both the human form and the environments they inhabit with immaculate detail and keen insight. His work is very honest, both in technique as well as content.

What's so brilliant about Rodgers' work is that each painting is overflowing with psychological and emotional nuance. Rodgers gives us a peek into the world of affluence- rife with sex, drugs, and creature comforts unknown to the average citizen. His paintings are intimate vistas of people trying to fit into their worlds of luxury and decadence. In these worlds of great riches and even gluttony, there is a sense of dark desire and emotional ambivalence hidden just beneath the surface.

Rodgers said that his works are "fiction, created from influences from all around [my] life." He's interested in "reading the culture" around him and documenting it in his works. "I am interested in a simultaneity of an infinitude of things going on," he says. This is apparent in his works, as they are multi-dimensional and multilayered in their meaning and contexts.

Rodgers' works are not for the faint of heart. He uses full frontal nudity - female and male (more of the former than the latter) - very often in his images. And even though his subjects are often young, he is not afraid to capture their blemishes-a sagging breast, an imperfect set of abs, a pudgy derriere. These people, it seems, are trying to hang on to their youth at all costs, despite the reality of the onset of age and dilapidation.

Rodgers claims that he creates his works after having taken "zillions of photographs" particularly so he can study the "tonal nature" of his subjects. "I am always pulling people into my studio or taking photographs of them out on the streets," he says.

Rodgers says that he owes his aesthetic influences to a diverse group of artists: from Degas he gets his "nuance of gesture"; to John Singer Sargent he looks for "how he handled paint"; and to Velaszquez he looks for "how he did everything."