Dzine: Artist Spotlight by Paul Klein

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Carlos Dzine Rolon, born and raised in Chicago, and known by most of his friends simply as "D," is a vibrant, positive, creative success story.

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I've known D maybe 20 years, from right about the time he was transitioning from being a graffiti artist, tagging buildings with his bold but fairly common style, to considering the notion of transition to a maker of 'fine art.'  He visited my gallery frequently and was intrigued by the challenges and opportunities the gallery world presented.  We never worked together until I left the gallery world 5 years ago, but we became pretty good friends.

 

 I respect Dzine for unique vision, his loyalty to his Puerto Rican heritage, his street credibility, his artistic talent and the creativity he applies to all facets of his life and artistic aspirations.

 

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Dzine is another of Chicago's (very) successful artists who doesn't exhibit at Chicago galleries - in his case probably because they can't keep up with the expansiveness of his vision and the energy and demands his art and scope place on their programs.  Instead he shows with galleries in Tokyo, Seoul and with New York's colorful and iconoclastic Deitch Projects.

 

His work has always been colorful and boisterous, with a brilliant psychedelic palette that honors his interest in history and pop culture and its relationship to the cultures he examines and lauds.  Recently, it is the examination of low-rider culture - the boys who've lowered their classic American cars, decked them out in chrome, gold and glitter, and outfitted them with state-of-the-art sound systems - that brings this vibrant cultural phenomena to a much broader audience with a pizzazz and originality that is fun, honest, curious and not much seen by those who are not immersed in it. It has been well received in the contemporary art world as a new fresh language.

 

 

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Picture his experience two years ago when he was invited by the curator of the Ukrainian Pavilion for the Venice Biennial to be one of 5 non-Ukrainian artists (with such heavyweights as Sam Taylor-Wood, Mark Titchner and Juergen Teller) to employ their art to expand global consciousness of Ukrainian  culture. Now visualize a 'hot rod," kick ass, over the top powerful, low-rider water ski type boat all decked out in sparkly blue paint with gold chrome trim slowly navigating the historic and traditional canals of Venice blaring the history of Ukrainian music from its rich sound system.

 

 

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Dzine's art gets attention. Each new body of work, or project that he takes on, seems to catapult him to a new level.  The Venice extravaganza got him a show with Deitch Projects in New York, which got him a one-person museum exhibition this forthcoming December at the Bass Museum in Miami during the world-class Basel-Miami Art Fair, which led to his inclusion in a Lance Armstrong international art tour to raise money for cancer research on view at some of the top galleries and exhibition spaces in the world.  Wazzoo exposure and certainly more to come.

 

Historically, and still, a painter, Dzine's pristine southside studio has spray booths, fabulous computer systems with assistants generating gallery renderings to anticipate the installation of his art, Dzine often behind a desk rendering computer images of paintings he's thinking about, to more assistants filling in the hand-worked details of sparkly, glossy paintings, while some auto-body guy is off to the side shining up a low-rider tricycle.  What a fabulous place to go to everyday - when you're not bopping around the planet to see the latest installation of your art.

 

Part of the thrill of being involved in contemporary art is the vicarious experience of cheering for the artists whose art you love, watching the artist grow and patting yourself on the back for having good taste. Dzine is all that and more.  The only question I have is when is my new painting going to show up?

 

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Tags: CarlosDzineRolon, dzine

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