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‘Beautiful Pain’ on exhibit at Merced’s Kreepy Kawaii Designs


The latest collection of art on display at Kreepy Kawaii Designs features the artwork of local artist Eddie Rodriguez. The exhibition titled “Beautiful Pain,” takes you on an intimate journey inside the heart, mind and soul of Rodriguez’s deepest emotions.

The gallery is currently open to the public for free viewing from 1 p.m to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. An artist reception will be held at 1731 Canal St on Saturday, April 10, from 6 p.m – 9 p.m. in collaboration with the pop-up catering business, Sanctuary Pizza, and of course, Kreepy Kawaii.

“Beautiful Pain,” features a collection of Rodriguez’s paintings from the past decade, a series of canvases full of deep emotion.

“Since I was a little kid, I have used art to deal and process traumatic events in my life,” The artist explained. “In a way, I was always using art as a distraction from the events that were happening.”

From deaths to divorce, a series of painful events and sickness shaped the last two decades of Rodriguez’s life. As his health and marriage declined and soon came to an end, Rodriguez became bedridden. Nevertheless, Rodriguez still curiously tried continuing his artwork — as best his health would allow — during this hard time in his life.

“For over 10 years I was doing photorealism,” he mentioned. “My paintings dealt with the deaths that were happening in my life, but in a very indirect way. I was trying to capture the mood but did not want people to know what was necessarily going on.”

It wasn’t until one of his teachers encouraged Rodriguez to “paint what he felt” that his emotions made themselves present on his canvas.

“I showed my teacher, Kevin Moore, some experiments I had been trying,” he explained. “Kevin started looking upset as I showed him, and so I asked him to tell me the truth.”

“He told me, ‘Yesterday you came and told me all these things that have happened to you in the last 10 years, and I don’t see any of that reflected in your work.”

“It hit me like a ton of bricks,” Rodriguez said. “In a moment I realized what he was asking. I had been this photorealist painter for over a decade but my illness forced me to change my style of painting. I could work on a painting for 300 hours, and now, because of my health, sometimes I would only get two hours a month to paint. It just wasn’t realistic anymore.”

Rodriguez’s new voice came in the shape of coping. From learning to heal his past wounds to accepting and learning from life’s defeat, his next chapter would be full of reliving the most painful parts of his life and translating them into beautiful works of art.

“Throughout my life there had been a lot of trauma and pain, and I had been working as hard as I could to get to coping as soon as possible. I was being called to have the courage to slow down and explore all the pain I had been through.”

“Beautiful Pain” is the result of just that.

The reception will include a free gallery experience, a chance to meet the artist in person, and Sanctuary Pizza.

For more information on the gallery or reception, you can call Kreepy Kawaii Designs at (209) 354-6067.

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