What Others Are Saying
this genre (of social reportage), the selection of a point of view, both
literal and metaphoric, and the choice of telling details must convince
us that we, as witnesses, know the subjects better than they know themselves.
Finally, to this combination of love and ruthlessness must be added the
sheer technical skill to execute one's vision in a persuasively "realistic"
fashion. Rodgers, who has these gifts in abundance, applies them unblinkingly
- to situations that are at once utterly contemporary yet timeless."
—Richard Vine is an editor and writer for Art in America.
Rodgers endows his depictions of today's conflicted desires with a pathos that was once reserved for great epics and historical deeds. Here the decadence of the empire isn't taking place in Ancient Rome; it's taking place in the contemporary Western world. Rodgers depicts it with jaw-dropping virtuosity.
— Catherine Somzé is an art historian and media critic based in Amsterdam.
What Torch showed was wow art. "Wow" because Rodgers' hyper-sensual, ultra-realistic representation of the spoiled and rich environment works as a slap in the face. His technique is so virtuoso, that it seems as if you can touch a hand, stroke a foot, and yes, that bare chest there ... is that one real? His subject is daring ... His compositions dumbfound, because they are overlapping by color, glitter, limbs, bodies ... Rodgers exceeds the rule that prescribes that "in the limit hides the master."
— Lucette ter Borg is a writer, journalist and director. Her first novel, The Gift From
Berlin, won the 2005 National Dutch Debut Prize.
"In these opulent, perceptively choreographed, quietly desperate scenes of unrequited, unidentified, unplaceable desire, Terry Rodgers unveils a subtly disproportionate, disjointed world where life is elsewhere, waiting to happen. His closely observed, meticulously rendered recreations of affluent life with their elliptical, enigmatic look at civilization and its discontents once again showcase his great skills as a draughtsman and a reporter. Posh hot-house colors...make up the artist's elegantly harmonious palette with their sweep of pale light, their seamless transitions between darks and lights. His taut, fragile compositions...are richly nuanced reprises of the human comedy commenting sotto voce on the way some of us live now."
—Lilly Wei is a New York-based art critic and independent curator.
"The viewer is at the same time a voyeur and a guest at the party, but an existential calm reigns in the paintings. Rodgers is a master of composition. His strange parties are, despite all their photographic qualities, put together like a painting by Rubens."
—Gerhard Charles Rump writes for Die Welt.
"Although these are ostensibly pictures of people at play - finding their recreation - spaces are uniformly inhabited by an almost unbearable tension. Prolonged inspection fills me with dread. Since the proportions of the frame are cinematic and the palette is sometimes like technicolor, it would not be out of bounds to think of these paintings as stills from a baroque movie. One then wonders about the next frame ... The work is real enough to imagine sound. I think that my own hope is that in the very next moment the artist's elaborate social and spatial equation will be shattered by a piercing shriek of female delight; or that the picture's overall delicate equipoise will be simply punctuated by the abrupt finish of good crystal against paving stone."
—Henry Cox is a writer living in NYC.
"Your paintings remind me of a Degas drawing room canvas crossed with a Harold Pinter play - no meaning is all meaning."
—Gerrit Henry passed away in the spring of 2003. He was an art critic living in NYC.
"Every now and then, perhaps in conversation, we casually come to the conclusion that such and such a medium is finished - that all the best work has been done, and what's left is an occasional interesting homage, at best. Terry Rodgers is one of the few painters who continues to do significant work in representational and figurative painting. To see each new work of his is to see the whole realist tradition in a new light."
—Dr. James R. Zimmerman is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at James
Madison University who has followed the work of Terry Rodgers for more than a decade.
"What are we to make of these paintings? They can be viewed as existential vignettes, or scenes from a latter-day Henry James novel with a sensibility, in James' words, "of the strange and sinister embroidered on the normal and easy."
—Lennie Bennett is the art critic for the St. Petersburg Times.