Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You features visual artist Irvin Rodriguez in an exhibition that brings together a variety of work from the last five years. This exhibition will be on view in both the Lobby Gallery and the DeSoto Family Vault.

The exhibition is inspired by a quote from the first major Roman poet, Ovid: “Perfer et obdura, dolor hic tibi proderit olim. (Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.)” Drawing upon his past and all that hardened him in childhood, Rodriguez shows us the lessons and the beauty that come out of pain. In this theme, there is a poignant juxtaposition in the contrast between bright, hopeful youthfulness and the solemn, deflated frailty of life.

“What seemed like hindrances in my past served as the outlet for my paintings. I only realized later in life how I would benefit from those seemingly insurmountable obstacles. At this point, painting is a way for me to talk about things, no matter how big or small. It allows me to work through the experiences of my life in the most instinctive manner I know how.” 

Rodriguez is primarily interested in telling human stories through paint. These works are not simply portraits of a physical person, but rather portraits of an experience.


Irvin Rodriguez is a visual artist whose work offers a synthesis of painting and drawing inspired by the European masters and painters of the 19th century, paired with the narrative influence and aesthetics of illustration and contemporary art. Rodriguez’s artistic practice involves multiple disciplines, from analog to digital media, which result in figurative compositions and portraits that communicate individual and collective experiences.

Born in the Bronx, New York in 1988, Rodriguez graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a BFA in Illustration (2010), while simultaneously studying at the Grand Central Atelier (2008-2010), and later at the Art Students League of NY (2013-2016). Since then, Rodriguez has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Europe, South America, and the United States, and was also the recipient of the 2016 Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, the 2019 The John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Scholarship, and the 2019 Donald Jurney Travel Fellowship. Over the years, he has developed into a compelling and versatile artist, with works in the film, comic book, publishing, and video game industry for clients like Naughty Dog, Lucasfilm, DC Comics, and Magic the Gathering. He currently lives and works out of his studio in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Plan Your Visit

Exhibition Details

Date: October 22, 2021 – February 20, 2022

Venue: Lobby Gallery & Desoto Family Vault

Exhibiting Artist: Irvin Rodriguez

Sponsor: This exhibition is made possible by Highmark, our 2021 – 2022 Lobby Gallery sponsor.