Rojo, Juan


Juan Rojo was born in Valladolid, Spain in 1977. He graduated from the University of Salamanca (Spain) with a degree in Fine Arts and he obtained his Masters degree in painting and video at the University of Maryland, College Park. He has exhibited extensively in the USA and Europe and he is currently living in Memphis, Tennessee.

Artist Statement

I have been drawn to the human figure as an art subject for as long as I can remember. My strongest formative influences came from the figurative tradition, especially the School of London. At some point in my early career, I turned my attention exclusively to female figures, focusing on the body without much regard to larger themes or content.

After a while I tried to examine my work – as well as that of artists who influenced me the most – from a feminist perspective. This led me to a greater sensitivity to the male gaze throughout art history and the construction of femininity in contemporary media.

My current painting and video work concentrates on narratives of disempowerment, particularly the ones imposed on children and the stereotypical idea of female beauty and submissive feminine behavior. I explore advertisement and media directed to women, particularly to young girls, and the use of a pink-and-glitter aesthetic and role models such as princesses or fairies to instill in them reactionary values. In my work, I employ everyday materials like scrapbook patterns, crochet or paper doilies to create ingenuous, hyper-decorative works that merge disparate subject matters and exhibit a high-contrast between form and content, where high and low coexist, as means of revealing the perversions within these apparently innocent narratives.


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