Devon Rodriguez, who lives and works in New York, paints on the subway. Starting in 2020, he draws a stranger sitting across from him in a New York subway with realistic expressions, delivers it to a model, and records the reaction as a video and uploads it on TikTok. The post got 5 million views and 1000 followers went from 1000, and the second video posted the next day got 21 million views and 200,000 followers in an instant.
The reason he debuted through TikTok was the pandemic. When he was isolated due to the pandemic, he recklessly took the subway to go out. And he made a short cut of strangers wearing masks and uploaded it through TikTok. People suffering from disconnection, fear and loneliness due to the pandemic were moved by the pictures conveyed through his video clips. Above all, the small sketch he handed over saying, “Excuse me, I drew you. The picture gets known and the video explodes in views.
TikTok Artist Devon Rodriguez
Here's an interesting post on his Instagram. The portrait on the left was painted in 2010, and the one on the right was painted in 2015, five years later. What does this mean? I like both. However, I can feel his hard work, effort, and unstoppable passion for 5 years.
I also love to see his instagram and tiktok reels. Because it gives another pleasure to see people who are happy to see the pictures in it.
I think he is an artist who knows the true value and beauty of art. It is touching to see him not being isolated alone with his work, but living in the world by taking it to the streets and communicating with people by subway. I think the message he conveys itself is art. If he kept this mindset and did it with all his heart and not for fame, I think he would be a true artist. But sometimes, as an artist, I worry because these looks are so perfect. We look forward to seeing him continue to work with good intentions and influence. We look forward to seeing more of his wonderful activities in the future.
Myungja Anna Koh