Miguel Rodriguez

 

At the death of his father, a forensic surgeon, Michel Rodrigues, eighteen years old, left Spain to join the Spanish legion in Morocco. He had difficulty adjusting to this life and escaped. He got hired at the Amar Circus to do odd jobs. With the circus he traveled to Paris, married and moved to Calais.
Committed for the first time in 1962 he was placed in different hospitals, before ending up in Saint-Venant. He immediately started painting ; some of his works hang on the walls of the hospital wards.
In 1983, Rodriguez was released and settled in a low income housing area in Béthune. However, this was a failure and he had to be institutionalized again. Suffering from diabetes, Rodriguez refused to be treated and died.

There are two aspects to Rodriguez’ artistic production : there are bright and dynamic drawings, painted on cardboard and plaster, which he hung on the walls of the hospital. Then there are the more anguished ones, dark and ghostly, with forms emerging from grids made with ballpoint pen. Painted during moments of deep exhaustion, these works remained hidden in portfolios.

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