Humane ecology image

eddie rodolfo aparicio

b. 1990, Los Angeles; lives and works in Los Angeles

Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio, Mano dura, 2023, cast rubber with ficus tree surface residue; latex paint, acrylic, and marker on found cloth; ceiba tree fiber; rope; wooden support. Courtesy of the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles/Mexico City. Photo: Tucker Bair

By painting latex rubber onto the trunks of trees in the neighborhoods where he grew up, Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio creates casts that capture the trees’ textures, markings, and surface layers, including soot. Ficus trees were brought to Los Angeles in the mid-twentieth century to shade streets with their wide canopies; these trees arrived around the same time, and in many of the same places, as Central American migrant workers. The artist, whose family is from El Salvador, is struck by these twinned histories of plants and people who have “lived and grown together,” but also the unintended consequences in each case: the trees’ roots broke up sidewalks, causing them to be cut down, and the workers were also deemed a problem and eventually deported en masse. A bloodlike sap that heals scarred rubber trees, latex evokes both trauma and repair. New hanging and wall-mounted works by Rodolfo Aparicio are on view in the Lunder Center at Stone Hill as part of the exhibition.