IT’S THE WICK OPENINGS, OR PROTUBERANCES, OF RODRIGO NAVA’S LIGHTWEIGHT, BLOATED METAL FORMS THAT GIVE HIS BLACK SHAPES A MOST INTRIGUING ECHO OF ANARCHY AND SEX APPEAL.
As geometric object-based sculptures, these are reminiscent of the cannon ball incendiaries lobbed by Boris and Natasha during the animated cartoon “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.” To maximize their meaning, Nava’s shapes at the Yellow Peril Gallery are curated into a dialogue about brutalism corresponding to a meanness that is an insular and defining feature of Providence’s urban scene.
His sculptures are performance genre, experiential even, though audiences aren’t direct witnesses to Nava’s forming methods. With the help of an assistant, he makes his shapes by pouring accelerant down the wick hole of each creation, then affixes a wick, introduces a touch of flame — and ka-boom!
This excerpt of Suzanne Volmer’s riveting article is from Artscope Magazine. You can pick up a free copy at Yellow Peril Gallery.