Johnny KMNDZ Rodriguez
"I’m a painter, I typically paint on wood with acrylic and house paint. Every now and then you’ll find me painting a wall or on a toy. I paint for a few reasons; the primary is to exercise the gift I was blessed with. (Please don’t read into this as me viewing myself as God’s gift to mankind. I’m simply recognizing that I was blessed and beyond grateful for the opportunities it afforded me.) Secondary is to share a message of love. I’m a big fan of narrative art so I knew if I was to paint, I’d better have something to say. I wanted to make my art as personal as possible, so I pulled from losing my father to losing my best friend through divorce. I also have a funny memory or mind. One that loves to remind me of instances where I’ve stuck my foot in my mouth. Love using symbols, religious numerology, along with pop culture references. I stick it all in a blender, and presto.
As of lately I’ve been painting more bombs that have been hollowed and turned into bird houses. It’s in reference to my dad fighting for his country, the understandings I’ve come to through fighting with an X wife, to teaching my kids how important it is to love one another. If a bomb has the power to level a city, I view it as full of hate. The birds in my story are intercepting them mid-air, ripping out the guts of the bomb, and repurposing them for the better." – Johnny KMNDZ Rodriguez (VoyageLA, 2018)