Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Terry Rodgers' Apotheosis of Pleasure. Used with permission.

Vectors, Apotheosis
Highlight Artists' Work
Remember when Dorothy went from the black and white of Kansas to the Technicolor of Oz?

Artist Terry Rodgers collaborated with Jim Zimmerman, an English professor at James Madison University, to produce Vectors of Desire through POD publisher iUniverse in September 2004. The book includes 50 black and white images of Rodgers’ major oil paintings.

In Vectors, produced at 7.5” x 9.25” as opposed to iUniverse’s standard 6” x 9” trim size, Rodgers’ paintings translate well to black and white and the larger format allows for a better presentation of the work. But much like classic black and white films should be presented in the original form; Rodgers’ work should be seen in color.

Rodgers’ paintings receive just that kind of treatment in Apotheosis of Pleasure, which will be available in December through Torch books of Amsterdam.

Apotheosis, which recently had a short write-up in Playboy, is a 112-page hardcover. In addition to 100 images of Rodgers' work, the book contains a short story, The Absent, by internationally best-selling French writer Alina Reyes.

Color and scale are an important part of Rodgers' work. The original of the image featured above is 96" x 144".

In a recent interview, Rodgers shared information on both Apotheosis of Pleasure and Vectors of Desire.

How did the Apotheosis of Pleasure book project come to pass? What role, if any, did the Vectors of Desire project that you did with Jim Zimmerman play in the evolution of the new book?
TR: Jim’s book took a first look at the work. It definitely created some interest. The time had come for a fairly comprehensive and full-color book of the paintings.

What will be the best way to get the book? Will it be available through and Do you know what the retail price will be?
TR: Initially, the book will be available through: and

The retail price will be 45 euro which is about $60.00.

What does the publication of the book signal for your career?
TR: It provides a terrific opportunity for people to see a great variety of my work.

What type of promotion will you be doing for the book?
TR: I won’t be promoting the book. I make paintings and there’s never enough time for that. I will leave the promotion to the publisher.

What kind of goals did you have for the Vectors of Desire book and what was you impression of that book and the publication process with iUniverse? Do you feel the work translates to black and white?
TR: Vectors of Desire provided an introduction to the work. I believe that was Jim Zimmerman’s goal. Jim hoped that people would visit my website where they could see the work in color. Color is very important to my paintings.

One of the central themes that many of the writers hit on is that, while there is a lot going on in your paintings the subjects are rarely if ever interacting with one another. Is that a valid observation and, if so, what does that communicate?
TR: It is something that I notice around me frequently. Do remember that these are paintings and not social science data. The paintings may be better read as metaphors than data. I am representing something about the difficultly many people have relating to others even when they seem to be interacting. Often their activities and exchanges/jokes/laughter are to disguise their loneliness and fear. As they may reveal the next morning.

Paris Hilton makes the occasional appearance in your work. What does her image represent in your work? Is she aware of your work and has she ever commented on it?
TR: Paris is a perfect example of someone envied by many, criticized by more and “known” by very few. An icon of desire and an enigma. She is both a private person and, in the minds of many, a fantasy/fiction. And so much of our contemporary “mind” is made up of highly-imagined desires – cars, clothes, enhanced bodies, perfection, sexy experiences, vacations. So Paris represents very well this confusing duality of self and image.

What kind of interest has the Playboy article generated in your work and the book?
TR: Everyone at the coffee shop I frequent knows my work now.

Visit Terry Rodgers' website at


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