Political Artist Edel Rodriguez Embraces Controversy

Political Artist Edel Rodriguez Embraces Controversy

In the current wave of political correctness, sometimes art can be misconstrued and considered offensive. Edel Rodriguez has faced controversy due to his polarising artwork, but isn’t that what creativity is about? Expressing your opinion whether people accept it or not. “No press is bad press.” Rodriguez is a professional at executing his political opinion in an inventive and provocative manner, causing quite the stir. We explore the after-effects of producing controversial creative work:

What was the intended purpose of your creative work?

I wanted to comment on the current political situation in the United States. More specifically, about the travel ban instituted by the president, and what that meant for the ideals the country has held dear for hundreds of years.

How was the message misconstrued and how did people react?

I think the message was understood by a majority of the people, it’s pretty clear. People who are on the other side of the political fence were very upset by the image. They thought it was too extreme or an insult. But I feel this is the only way to speak to someone that abuses power to such an extent.

Edel Rodriguez

Did negative reactions deter you or push you forward?

I’m not deterred by negative reactions, I welcome them. All I want my work to do is to start important discussions and this is what this artwork did. I’m pushed to create by the desire to communicate my feelings and ideas. It’s always been that way and will continue to be so regardless of reactions.

How would you advise someone who has caused controversy creatively?

I would advise them to stand by their work and defend it in a calm and informative manner. Visual art can be misunderstood by the public at times. Use the opportunity to educate viewers about the topic and show them ways to read and understand imagery. It benefits all artists to have a thoughtful audience.

Written by Roisin O’Hare

Editorial Assistant

Visuals by Edel Rodriguez

Edel RodriguezEdel Rodriguez