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The science of art and art of science in Miguel Rodriguez’ new exhibit

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Photo: Sam Morris

E’ryday Science at the Clark County Government Center will likely have keen observers busting up at the witty melding of science, pop culture and social issues.

Miguel Rodriguez’s glittery and fluorescent sculptures—a sudden burst of color on the grayish granite floor—at first seem defined by what appears to be a superficial gaiety. But in reality the works—carved EPS foam with hard coats or cast plaster—represent far more depth and thoughtfulness. And so when Rodriguez, a Las Vegas artist with a history in ceramics, says each piece speaks about science in some way, the reality is that each piece relies on science to speak about itself.

He refers to his “Off Like a Herd of Turtles,” a collection of stationary florescent turtles (more than 60) lined up like a rainbow, as a “visual non-sequitur” in which the science behind the relationship between pigment and light has the slow reptiles “moving at the speed of light.”

While “Off Like a Herd of Turtles” can appear as rapid as a motion blur, “SupaSuckaFish,” a sculptural rendering of an aquatic bottom-feeder, painted a flat black, has the presence of a visual thud—successfully living up to its name (sucking up color, rather than reflecting it).

Further contrasts, including the kitsch-meets-fine-art nature of the sculptures, work so harmoniously that, when asked whether his rendering of a bearded wise man is Santa Claus or Socrates, Rodriguez replies, “Both.”

E’ryday Science Through July 26; Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Clark County Government Center Rotunda, 455-7340.

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Kristen Peterson

Kristen Peterson joined the Las Vegas Sun in 1998 as a general assignment reporter. In 2003, she turned her focus ...

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