In 1970 singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez released his debut album to little fanfare in the U.S., and the story could have ended there. But the LP found its way to South Africa’s underground, where its Dylanesque anti-establishment punch sparked rebellious young Afrikaners at the dawn of the anti-Apartheid movement.
Widely bootlegged and traded, the prophetic music fueled the conscience of a disenfranchised youth, despite the fact that Rodriguez’s life and whereabouts were a mystery. It took nearly three decades before he was rediscovered, right at home in Detroit.*
Rodriguez’s music and his story inspired me to create this exhibit that is being hosted at the Mass Ave Wine Shoppe for the month of December. The message woven into his music is timeless. Unbeknownst to Rodriguez the power of his art helped change the world and he’s asked for nothing in return.
*From the liner notes of the soundtrack, “Searching for Sugar Man.”
In this video interview I discuss the new work and Rodriguez and his art as inspiration.