Lordy Rodriguez’s works explore the human urge to locate/define oneself by charting the environment in precise detail. Using the language of cartography, he makes drawings that go beyond map-making into abstracted, imaginary terrain.


One of his earliest bodies of work, the America series, involved redrawing the boundaries and locations of the 50 United States and the cities within them (and adding 5 more states). Subsequent works, including the Abstracted and Geological series, pushed the iconography of mapmaking further into abstraction, omitting the text that is so crucial to cartography. Without text, the map loses its utility, and the void is filled by the viewer’s own biases and experiences.


Rodriguez’s newest works on paper utilize the map as a framework in which to experiment with unorthodox combinations of familiar visual languages from a variety of sources, including advertising, reality TV, fashion, gift-wrapping, and signature images associated with celebrity artists. With humor, craft, and adept analysis of popular culture, Rodriguez shrewdly subverts the fundamental purpose of design – to create something in the most beautiful and functional way – and the fundamental purpose of maps – to locate and transport ourselves in the world.

Studio views