Artemio Rodríguez was born in Tacámbaro, Michoacán, Mexico in 1972. He began by studying agronomy at the Universidad Autonomo Chapingo and was later introduced to art when he apprenticed and learned letterpress printing from Juan Pasco, a master print maker working out of the Taller San Martin pescadoer near Rodríguez’s hometown.
As a print maker who works primarily in black and white, Rodríguez’s signature style emphasizes simplicity and clarity. European medieval woodcuts and the great Mexican print artists such as Jose Guadalupe Posada have been influential in Rodríguez’s print making career. Though comfortable working in a wide variety of artistic media, Rodríguez regards his ten years as a print maker as the beginning of a long quest. His larger goal is to keep exploring and promoting printmaking until he feels he has contributed something important to the medium. He fully expects this to take a lifetime. In 2002 he founded La Mano Press in Los Angeles California. La Mano Press is an artist-run center dedicated to the promotion and appreciation of printmaking.
Rodríguez’s work has been featured in galleries in the United States and Mexico. He has also illustrated and published several books.
I have based my style on two characteristics of medieval woodcut: the simplicity of line and the straight forwardness of its visual style. When I create my images I think as if I were creating illustrations for a book that may never exist. Fortunately many of my works have found a place in actual books.
In these times, when technology dominates the way we live and see the world, when even the printed word has become almost obsolete; I feel a necessity to return to the way of seeing and living through the black and white of the carved and hand printed image.
A visual artist is not only a creator of images, decorations or concepts for museums, he is also a physical worker and a creator of conscience, a instigator of sensibilities, imagination and further creativity. The ancient trade of engraver-printer has allowed me to feel that I am approaching this ideal as a contemporary visual artist.