Photos by Virgil Solis
Friday, I was lucky enough to be invited to the press opening of the Robert Rodriguez Museum here in Austin during SXSW 2014. The pop-up museum was exhibiting art from acclaimed fantasy/science fiction artist Frank Frazetta, a Sin City masterpiece by Frank Miller, original art by Drew Struzan, new pop artist Sebastian Krüger, and bronzed art sculptures by Clete Shields. In addition, the museum had Sin City character portraits that Mr. Rodriguez worked on with the actors and his mentor artist George Yepes during the filming of Sin City 2. This was definitely one of my highlights of SXSW 2014. On top of the really awesome art that was at the museum, I was going to be able to meet on of my idols.
Robert Rodriguez has been someone who I’ve looked up to for a very long time and someone who inspired me to chasing a creative career. Growing up in America, we didn’t have a lot of creative and cool Latinos to look up to. Robert Rodriguez showed a younger generation of Latinos that we can chase creative jobs, even if you have to donate your body to medicine to fund your first movie. After watching El Mariachi and reading his book Rebel Without a Crew, my brother and I were Rodriguez fans for life. With all these thoughts running through my head, I was hoping I didn’t fan out too much and kept some level of professionalism when I met him at the museum. As soon as I walked into the museum, Robert was there talking to other media people about the artwork and other art he was excited for. You can tell that Rodriguez still is a boy at heart as he talked about some of his heroes in art and the awesome work being exhibited.
As the majority of everyone there was a media person from different outlets, everyone wanted a piece of Rodriguez, so I waited patiently for an opportunity to talk to him for one minute to just thank him for his influence and art. When I finally mustard the courage to walk up to him, the media vultures were waiting for him to pounce and get their turn. In the quick second I was given, I asked him if I could take a photo next to the life-size Marv statues. He said sure, and I shot the image, and as fast I hit the shutter button, Robert was being pulled in a different direction to speak to another media person. I barely said thank you, and just like that, my opportunity was over. I stuck around and talked to some great people from his team about the limited edition posters for sale and took in the art a little bit longer before I decided that I was happy with the photo and just the chance to be in the same room as Robert Rodriguez. By the way he treated everyone, he is one of the nicest guys, and I’m sure another opportunity will arise where I will be able to have an actual conversation with Mr. Rodriguez. Until then, enjoy some great art from the museum.