Demi and Arturo Rodríguez papers, 1963-2016

Rodríguez, Arturo, b. 1955
Active in Miami, Fla.

Demi, b. 1955
Active in Miami,Fla.

Collection size: 6.1 linear feet

Collection Summary: Biographical material, project and subject files, correspondence, photographs, artwork, writings, business and financial records, audiovisual material, and printed material relating to Arturo Rodríguez's career, travels, and childhood as well as the artwork of Demi, Rodriquez's wife and partner, and their relationship.

Biographical material includes Rodríguez's Karate and Judo documents (from age 9) and his resume.

Project files concern the exhibitions "The Rage of Children," 1991, and "Walls & Murals: Mike Glier, Arturo Rodríguez & David Wojnarowitz" at the Norton Gallery of Art in which Rodriguez, Glier, and Wojnarowicz were asked to paint the walls in the museum's inner courtyard with the stipulation that the works would be destroyed at the end of the exhibition. Other project files concern the Gulf Coast Museum of Art, Cris Hassold's research on Demi, the development and creation of two musical recordings; and a mural project dedicated to Afro-Cuban music. Also included are files on art writer Ileana Fuentes, and collector Jorge Pupo, and files on Demi's trips to Spain, Fort Meyers, Massachusetts, and New York.

Professional correspondence is with Rodríguez's New York Gallery, CDS, and with curators, galleries, museums, art historians, and collectors. Also included are letters from the Norton Gallery concerning the Walls exhibit, and letters of recommendation. Personal correspondence is with friends, artists, critics, historians and fans including Judith and Bill Landner, David Wojnarowicz, Lynette Bosh, Helen Kohen, and Carol Damion, among others

Photographs are of Rodríguez, Demi, friends, writers, collectors, Rodríguez's travels and house in Miami after Hurricane Andrew and the house reconstruction in 2008, Rodríguez's family (many from childhood), exhibitions and exhibition openings, the Prometeo Theater Group (where Demi and Rodríguez first met) and Demi and Rodríguez's artwork. Some photographs are on CD.

Artwork by Rodríguez includes sketchbooks and loose sketches (many containing studies for the "Walls" project), childhood drawings, ink and acrylic drawings made as a teenager, and one sketch dedicated to Demi, 1982. Artwork by Demi includes sketches (many of children) and a photo-collage by Demi. Also included are drawings by school children dedicated and sent to Demi and Rodríguez.

Writings are by Rodríguez and concern his paintings and his life as well as notes he took while studying Old Master texts. Published writings by Rodríguez include children's books.

Business and financial records include budgets and itineraries for trips made to Madrid, Barcelona, New York, Sevilla, Paris, Panama, and London. Financial statements regarding investments are from Smith Barney Inc. Also included are price lists and consignment papers.

Audiovisual material includes an 8-track video of the exhibit opening "Demi Y Arturo: Por El Amor Y La Vida," 2004, a DVD made by the Gulf Coast Museum of Art and a BBC documentary, "HAVANA," 1990, VHS tapes and audio cassettes of interviews with Demi and lectures by Demi. Also included is one DVD containing transcripts of interviews with Demi, photographs, videos, and word documents pertaining to Demi's travel. Printed material regarding both Demi and Arturo include exhibition catalogs, announcements, posters, and clippings, many from the Walls project.

An addition of 2.3 linear feet donated 2016 includes biographical material regarding Arturo and Demi; professional and personal correspondence with art historians, artists, art collectors, museums, and Arturo's daughters; writings consisting of Demi's lecture notes and Arturo's notes for practicing English used when he first moved to the U.S.; exhibition and loan files regarding Demi's works; financial records including sales slips, receipts, and price lists; artwork consisting of sketchbooks, sketches and small paintings on canvas by Arturo and Demi; photograph albums, photographs and slides of Demi, Arturo, their family, exhibitions, works of art (some on CD); printed material consisting of catalogs for works by Demi, Arturo and other artists, a poster using a reproduction of Demi's work, a wanted sign for one of Demi's stolen paintings, and a playbill; and audio visual material including DVDs and CDs of interviews with Demi, Arturo and others, and lessons by Arturo on how to create portraits.

Biographical/Historical Note: Arturo Rodríguez (1956- ) is a painter in Miami, Fla. He and his wife, Demi, are both self-taught artists born in Cuba.

Donated 1997-2016 by Demi and Arturo Rodríguez.

How to Use this Collection

  • Photograph of Demi by Ramon Guerrero: Publication or reproduction requires written permission from: Demi, 1679 SW 16th St., Miami, Fla. 33145
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
    One folder of samples of payments for sales: ACCESS RESTRICTED; use requires written permission.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

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