Rod Morata


Rod Morata, Self-Portrait

“Rod Morata is the youngest of the three artists having recently graduated from
the School of Visual Arts in 2002. Like Mickey, his work is observational in
nature, yet his sense of humor is ever-present in his projects. Two distinct
bodies of work overlap to create a series of portraits and self portraits that
reference family memories and document his parents homes in Staten Island and
Florida. The first body of work, The 70’s, document the life of a fictional
character, Carmine Alfano who is a typical Italian-American macho male. Morata
has used artifacts from his childhood home to recreate settings that reference
a 70’s lifestyle that was experienced by his parents (he was born in 1976).
He has inserted himself into this lifestyle by creating images of living room
interiors, backyard hammocks, bedrooms, and kitchens in which his gaze and the
gaze of other characters is direct and emotionless. He explores the nature of
male relationships and how male values are passed down from one generation to
the next. Unlike Vezzuso’s intimate portraits of his family or Mickey’s
specific portraits of his father, Morata chooses to portray composite characters
in contrived settings. His mother plays the role of dutiful housewife as she
sews Alfano’s pants while he waits, pants-less, looking at his watch. The
setting is his mother’s living room. She sits behind her sewing machine
with curlers in her hair.” (source:

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