Hold These Truths

November 13, 2017 - March 14, 2018

NLE Lab: Southeast Queens Biennial

February 9 - April 21, 2018

Freddy Rodríguez


Our Man: Homage to Sammy Sosa, 2003
Glass, sugar. 8 x 1 x 1 feet; bat: 32 ¼ x 2 ¾ inches.

Pride of New York, 2005
Acrylic and collage on canvas. 62 x 36 inches.

Huracán Ramírez, 2007
Acrylic on canvas. 64 x 36 inches.

Paving the Way, 2005
Clay bricks. Dimensions variable.

Major League Baseball Royal Family, 2005
Acrylic on canvas, bats, baseballs. 56 x 52 inches.

Taking as his subject the long history of Dominican baseball players in the United States, Freddy Rodríguez reveals the multiple impacts of a sport that has crossed cultural barriers and become a marker of success and integration for Dominicans in America. In paintings that often feature famous Dominican players silhouetted against a colorful, geometrically abstract background, such as Huracán Ramírez (2007), Rodríguez considers the way in which baseball provides a stage for individual accomplishment rooted in a common language of statistical records, as shown in Major League Baseball Royal Family (2005). With the sport’s integration ushered in by Jackie Robinson’s move to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, a player could at last be judged on performance and not appearance—a theme that runs throughout Rodríguez’s work. Combining the reverential letters of a player’s name (Sosa, Ramírez)—an allusion to the hero-worshiping inherent in the donning of the fan’s replica jersey—with the statistical record of Strike Outs and Home Runs that form the summit of a successful career, Rodríguez paints a portrait of immigrant identity and aspiration; one in which these sporting heroes provide a source of collective pride for all who came to this country seeking a better life.

Pictured: Our Man: Homage to Sammy Sosa, courtesy of the artist.