Nacho Rodriguez: Finding Catharsis through Pixels

Victor Rodríguez, also known as Pixel Nacho, is unapologetically a geek. He loves video games, Star Wars, and anime. It is an intrinsic part of who he is, and by extension, his art. Starting out mostly creating fan art for his growing following, Rodriguez’s work has recently begun looking inwards. A Venezuelan exile living in Uruguay, he has found that the experience has left scars and art, particularly a new project involving gods, has been a healthy way for him to drain them. Cathartic even.

A little tribute to one of the best electronic duos EVER: #Daft Punk, PixelNacho, 2021

Rodriguez has been fascinated with the concept of pixel art since he was a little kid. He remembers his brother coming back from a meeting of geeks who used computer consoles to make art and bringing back a floppy disk with pixel art on it. The colours and the creepy and playful imagery of it mesmerised him. Rodriguez was originally a graphic designer but he remembers starting to make pixel art somewhere around 2014. Not having access to many resources, he would use software like Microsoft Paint. He liked painting square by square, even now, the minimalism of pixel art and the possibility of achieving a lot with very little is what keeps drawing him to this medium.

Untitled, PixelNacho, 2020

Years later, after he left Venezuela and settled in Uruguay, he decided to fully commit to pixel art. He said, “I’m not going to do this to look for jobs, but for myself and feeling good.” It was to his surprise that it succeeded, and he found himself with a growing following on social media. His brightly coloured renditions of video game characters and strange creatures resonated with people. Gifs of his creations flourished and several of them are available on GIPHY. Rodríguez describes the process as, “Making something move that you don’t expect to move and make it without limitations.”

Untitled, PixelNacho , 2017

Rodriguez estimates that he’ll probably be doing pixel art, which he defines as “Pointillism with a click”, for a long time but his pixel art has and continues to undergo a lot of change. His desire to go beyond creating work that adheres to video game standards have led him down different avenues hoping to achieve a work of art in itself as well. He has begun working with 3-D art, which alongside animation, he believes may be the next step for art and himself, as it combines multiple elements he loves like pixels, silly/creepy things, animation, colours, and the video game aesthetic. Looking into and trying out abstractionism, science fiction, and surrealism (taking inspiration from Salvador Dalí, whom he has admired for some time) are also roads he is considering going down in the future.