Art+Culture Meet the Artist Merida

Rodolfo Baeza: Revisited

img_8857In Rodolfo Baeza there is something different, something else entirely: the expression of an idea so powerful, the model being represented becomes of secondary importance. The character, acquiring another texture is no longer solely a portrait; his face is not static, but almost immediately an image. He achieves this with overwhelming energy, quick strokes that accentuate the sensation of dynamism. Tactile sensual strokes barely detailed that serve to give physical presence. Passionate, emotional and with an ease and naturalness like few portraitists I know.”  — Gabriel Ramírez, March 2016, foreword from the catalog Rodolfo Baeza OBRA: 2011-2016

img_8849In January 2015, I did an interview called Meet the Artist: Rodolfo Baeza. With the launch of his new catalog, I paid Rodolfo another visit just to see what he’s been up to.

Rodolfo Baeza is as engaged in life as he is in painting and drawing, and his studio and work are a reflection of that. I love visiting him at his studio, and took the opportunity to ask him about his new work and what he has on the horizon. “Right now I’m doing a lot of commissions”, Rodolfo says, as I stare at a particularly large painting of a couple captured only as this painter can. Muscular in both colour and technique, I’m instantly drawn to these portraits. ” I’m grateful for the commissions”, he continues, “but it means I don’t have much time for my personal work.”The perimeter is circled with canvasses in various stages of completion and he tells me there’s a waiting list. “When I get frustrated or just need a break, I come to this room and paint skulls”, he laughs. “It helps to release my creative tension. I’m working on a portrait from a historical painting – a painting of a painting – very challenging as I try to find my own interpretation.”

rodolfo-baeza-portrait-sept2016Sigo el camino que elegi” is tattooed in cursive script along his forearm. “What does it mean?”, I ask. “I follow the path that I choose”, he tells me with conviction. Yes, Roldolfo, I’m sure you do, and the world is all the better for it.

14611002_1021459897980672_968506656287212959_nLater this month, Rodolfo will be featured prominently at the IPAF festival in Tepoztlán, Morelos Oct 22 – Nov 3rd, along with an amazing lineup of muralists. The Merida English Library is excited to feature Rodolfo once again on the 2017 Artist Studio Tour which will take place on Saturday, February 18, 2017. Artist interviews and details of the tour will be posted here over the next few months, as well as the Merida English Library. It should be another exciting and fun day for both artists and attendees alike. 

In October 2012, I drove 6,800 kms with my artist husband, Ric Kokotovich (, and my dog Iggy, to spend 6 months in our adopted city of Merida. Leaving the fast paced world of Calgary behind, I packed my books, art and entrepreneurial spirit, and set off to explore what lay beyond the borders that had become my life. In October 2013 we hit the road south again, hoping to find out what ‘living the dream’ really means. This is my adventure.

2 comments on “Rodolfo Baeza: Revisited

  1. Merrill Wattie

    Another great interview daughter, with depth and sensitivity. And, what interesting people you are meeting and getting to know and they you.

    • Thanks Dad – it is true, we are surrounded in Merida by talented artists and exceptional creative persons and it’s been a real pleasure getting to know them. I’m honoured to have them share their stories with me!

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