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Meet the Artist: Izzy Rodriguez

Izzy is a local artist based in Providence, Rhode Island. He draws inspiration from his love of comic books and classic cartoons to fuel his creative energy. The “BagHead” is a figure of which most know very little. What you do know is what you see… they are a cameraperson (shown by the camera in hand), they are positive in nature (shown by the smile on their face) and they have a childlike optimism for the way they see the world (shown by the cartoonish eyes). Their singular motivation is the creation of art in the form of pictures. Join us for his opening exhibition “Slices of Life” February 16th at 5pm. His work will be on display in the Groundwork Gallery until March 1st.

What materials do you work with?

I shoot with a Panasonic Lumix GX8 for digital photography and an Olympus OM-10 for film photography

Tell us about your current body of work. What motivated it?

My current body of work is motivated by my constant intrigue and curiosity with the world around me. These photographs show the little slices of everyday life that we often take for granted. Fleeting moments that would otherwise be completely insignificant, if not photographed.

Do you work full-time as an artist or do you wear other hats?

Aside from my work as an artist, I work as a marketer. I currently serve as the Associate Director, Digital Marketing for Brown University’s Division of Advancement.

How do you integrate art into your life and other responsibilities?

I integrate my street photography into my life by always carrying my camera with me at all times. My art exists in my daily surroundings so always being prepared to capture those moments is important.

How has your art practice evolved over the years?

My art has evolved in the same way many photographers’ journeys do. It wasn’t until my third year of photography that I really found my genre and grew into the art that I exhibit today.

What or who inspires you?

I’m inspired by my lifelong love of comic books. I often view my images as a square from a page of a comic book where the viewer can imagine what happened in the squares before and after to visualize the entire story being told. I’m also inspired by my 9 year old son, Mason and often try to channel the wonder he sees in the world.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz, Bruce Gilden and Robert Frank

How is community important to you as a practicing artist?

Community is important because it facilitates growth in your art in ways you may not have expected. As a member of the Providence Art Club, I have found an amazing community of artists from various mediums who inspire me to continue growing my art.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?

Creative fatigue definitely sets in as someone who carries his camera at all times. That fatigue can lead to a lack of motivation. The way I push beyond that is by remaining disciplined to my craft and continuing to create.

What are your goals for the future?

Certainly another photobook and another zine is a future goal. Another goal that I have is to travel to the Dominican Republic to document where my parents grew up and where I spent a lot of my childhood.

To see more of Izzy’s work, you can follow him on Instagram: @itsbaghead, or check out his website: itsbaghead.com.

Raelyn Couto