The human mind continues to be one of the most uncharted frontiers of all. From his beginnings as a photographer, Frank Rodick has consistently explored this terrain, breaching the crenellations of the cerebral cortex to probe the limbic system, where our animal selves hunker.
— Katherine Ware, Curator of Photography, New Mexico Museum of Art
So begins photo-historian and curator Katherine Ware, introducing Frank Rodick’s work in the book Labyrinth of Desire. She goes on:
A medium recognized for its excellence in recording surfaces, photography is a challenging tool for plumbing the recesses of the brain. However, because it so easily creates a mirror world, a place parallel to our own, photography is also adroit at recontextualizing recognizable subjects to create new meanings. Rodick exploits this paradox and, as his career progresses, continues to use techniques that sever images from conventional interpretation, pushing viewers to engage with them in a less straightforward manner.”
Over his career, Frank Rodick has developed his tools from the diverse repertoires of traditional photography, alternative darkroom techniques, Polaroid technology, video, and digital imaging. Reshaping and applying these methods in multiple configurations, he has created works ranging from the shadowy cityscapes of Liquid City and the desolate faces and bodies of Faithless Grottoes all the way to his recent explorations in the portrait genre. The vein running through these collections of imagery is Rodick’s evolving but abiding obsession with what goes on inside us— those mysteries and convolutions of our internal lives and intimate relationships.
Rodick’s work includes: the forty images of Liquid City; the studies of nude form in sub rosa, later reworked as Masquerade; the Arena pictures and Faithless Grottoes, both founded in video; two series of small scale works installed in wooden cases entitled Revisitations and I live there now; the expressionistic portraits based on the life and death of his parents, Frances and Joseph; and finally several series of self-portraits, including the most recent work, untitled selves.
Rodick manages to embed in his images things that are completely and specifically personal but through an alchemical visual transmutation makes them universal. We see the story of his mother, his father, of him, but before we know it is our mother, our father, ourselves. Life, death, and the human condition are made both mysterious and immediate.
— Stephen Perloff, editor and founder of The Photo Review
Over eighty exhibitions, including more than 35 solo shows, have featured Frank Rodick's work, which has also been published in numerous magazines, journals, and books. Museums and other public institutions across the world have acquired his work for their permanent collections. These include the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University; the Brandts Museum (Denmark); the Brooklyn Museum; the Fort Wayne Museum of Art (United States); the Franklin Rawson Provincial Museum of Fine Arts (Argentina); the Fundación Luz Astral, Buenos Aires; the Kinsey Institute Collection; Lehigh University Art Galleries; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Salta (Argentina); the Museum of Photography at Charleroi (Belgium); the National Fine Arts Museum of Buenos Aires; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the National Gallery of Canada; the New Mexico Museum of Modern Art; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Individual collectors in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia have acquired his pictures for their private collections.
Frank Rodick has travelled to four continents to lecture on his work as well as to lead workshops where, drawing on his extensive education and experience as a practicing psychotherapist and teacher, he focuses on helping other artists and students in all media enhance their personal creative process and vision.