Carlos Rolón was born in 1970 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Columbia College Chicago with a concentration in painting and drawing, and he has participated in residencies at the Nairobi National Museum, Kenya and Instituto Buena Bista, Curacao Centre for Contemporary Art. In 2011, Rolón took on a position as Kraus Visiting Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg. Currently, the artist lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.
In the past several years, Rolón has been recognized for his elaborately crafted paintings, ornate sculptures and works that come out of Kustom Kulture. His studio practice investigates pop culture, craft, ritual, beauty, spirituality, and identity and its relationship to art history, subculture, appropriation, and the institution. The work often addresses his own biography in relationship to his Puerto Rican heritage and American upbringing. The carefully crafted, hybrid works are playfully situated between the contradictory worlds of conspicuous consumption and urban artifact. The work is at once melancholic, excessive, and exuberant, poised somewhere between celebration and regret. Rolón illuminates how the masculine can become delicate and how the baroque can be minimal.
The artist has had solo exhibitions atLibrary Street Collective, Detroit, USA; Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, China;Dallas Contemporary, Texas, USA; Bass Museum of Art, Miami, USA; Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA; and CAM Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. His work has also been exhibited in group shows at The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, USA; Daegu Art Museum, Korea; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA; Marta Herford Museum, Herford, Germany; Museum Het Domein, Sittard, the Netherlands; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, USA; Museo del Barrio, New York, USA; and Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Canary Islands. In 2007, Rolón’s work was featured in the Ukraine Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale. He is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award for Painting and Sculpture.
Rolón’s work can be found in many public collections, including Bass Museum of Art, Miami, USA; Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA; City of Chicago Public Art Collection, Illinois, USA; Museo del Barrio, New York, USA; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA; Museum Het Domein, Sittard, the Netherlands; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, USA; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas; and Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine.