I met Rosso in person just a few months ago, although I admire her work since first piece I saw, I would say, a year ago or so.
I think her figurative style mixed with a kind of surreal atmosphere is amazing.
Rosso's paintings are metaphors of contemporary society, born out of a reflection on the irony and conundrums of the human condition. Her canvasses are often populated with a colourful mixture of carnivalesque characters impersonating feelings, fears, themes and taboos commonly experienced. Drawn from an exciting blend of arcane myths, religious artefacts and fairytales with contemporary urban folklore, her art engage the viewers in very subjective ways, sometimes confronting or comforting them. Born in Sicily (1978), Rosso moved to London in 2004 to finish her academic studies in international relations and human rights. She worked in advertising and marketing before starting her artistic path. Primarily self-taught, she trained briefly at the Prince Drawing School and at LARA (London Atelier of Representational Art) before embarking on a full time professional painting career in 2014. Her painting career is progressing fast and steadily, having already won the Emerald Winter Pride Arts Award in March 2016 with her genderqueer self-portrait "Madame Moustache".
By Chrom-Art Director Arturo Garcia de Las Heras
A few days ago, you told me you started to paint professionally or full time, just a couple of years ago. What made you take that decision? Is art something you ever thought about, was it related to previous activities of yours?
I took this decision at the peak of an 'early' mid life crisis which manifested when I was 29 and culminated in me reinventing myself as a "painter". Art was not related to my previous activities, in fact, rather the opposite. I studied political science and human rights and then, after graduation, I moved straight into a 8-to-5 office life, dealing with customers queries, marketing and business planning... During those years, I learned a lot about people, both micro and macro behavioral patterns, which I believe is now flowing into my art practice, especially in the way I perceive the reality out there and eventually how I translate it visually.
How do you choose the themes of your works?
My art is inspired by both political issues or more personal happenings. Sometimes, the line in between private and public is difficult to trace; I really enjoy when I manage to address very important social issues through images and subjects which are apparently naïf or very personal. This was the case of "Madame Moustache", a self-portrait which I created spontaneously and mostly as an act of ultimate rebellion against a backward, male-dominated representation of the female body, and which ended up winning an award for representing contemporary ideas of beauty and gender identities endorsed by LGBTQ communities.
Is there a message in your art? How do you relate it to your personal experience?
My art is all about my beliefs, my dreams, my hopes, and also about anger, disappointment, and disillusion, sometimes. I think the series of self-portraits especially speaks the loudest and clearest about me, I cannot hide.
Could you please tell us about the creative process since initial thoughts to completion? How long does it take to complete the piece?
My creative process has been changing a lot during these few years of practice. When I started, I remember I had a specific well defined image in my head which however would take a very long time to realise practically - being a perfectionist especially at the beginning of the career, I used to spend months before completing a piece to my liking standard. Now, it is almost reverted: it takes me a few intensive sessions to realise an image (8 to 10 hours consecutive each session), but I spend days and weeks on the development and fine-tuning of the narrative. Like any other discipline, it takes time to learn to optimise the creative process, I hope that soon both the practical realisation and the conception phase will come closer together.
What would be your dream collaboration?
My dream collaboration would be with a carnivalesque brigade including live musicians, Djs, circus performers and burlesque dancers to create a multi-disciplinary full immersive art experience, with people dancing to the beats of electro-gipsy and drum&bass, while fire players are warming up the space and acrobats swing along above the dance floor. I'd like to create the backdrop of this round, all-inclusive open theatre, and possibly dance.
Who has influenced you the most?
I am very happy to have discovered and being introduced to the traditional academic approach to representational art. I can quote many masters from the past and the present who represent this school of thought, but I'll keep it to a few like Sergeant, Boldini, Bouguereau from the past. Two painters I'm following and admiring deeply at the moment are Jeremy Mann and Lita Cabellut. Sorry to miss all the rest there is no space to mention all of them!
What other artists do you admire? What is your favourite piece of art?
I'd like to add Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt to the list, I really love the fluidity of their art, and their subjects are so incredibly avant-guard. It is really difficult to pinpoint one favourite piece of art; I favour all that is beautiful, meaningful, powerful, but the definition of this changes often for me!
How would you describe the current art scene in London and UK?
The art scene in London appears varied, multicoloured, rich, a bit chaotic sometimes, but also evolving. Sometimes one can have the feeling of an art scene being over-inflated with a specific genre, nonetheless everywhere there are gems to be found. The art field in London of course is as competitive as any other industry, but there is also a great variety of opportunities which eventually reward many of artists who decide to practice in here. I cannot speak for the rest of UK as I only experienced London so far.
What are you working on currently? Any projects / ventures on the horizon?
I am working on a new body of work which expands a few themes and techniques I have been exploring in the last few months, also bringing consistency across. I am in contact with other artists and some curators to produce some multidisciplinary art events and exhibitions in London, perhaps in 2017; all WIP but very promising and inspiring
Where can we buy your art?
More information about the Artist available on www.rossoart.net