Entries by Nina Rossi (61)
These Chard Paintings were done for a Carolina seed company to decorate their packets. I received a small gift certificate for seeds in return for these images, which I enjoyed creating on stainless steel annealing foil over wood, with tacks holding a central image that is an applique of fabric with machine embroidery. The oil paint over steel has a luminosity that satisfies me and craetes a contrast to the flatness fo the fabric. I also really love chard. It completes something essential in my diet, even though it shrinks down to nothing when cooked.
These do not have big ideas involved with them. They are decorative. However, it was the beginning of a new desire to grow a few vegetables in the yard, which was not as successful an attempt as I had hoped, due to the quality of the soil where I laid out my beds (where an aboveground pool had been for a dozen years, very sandy even with 100$ of additives I dug into it). However, the work is successful I think.
This is one of my all time favorite pieces. It is the second one I did where I collected materials that were primarily black or metal as the basis of selection. I was not too sure, when I began, what the theme of the piece would be. I had gotten those enormous saw blades and wanted to use them, as well as the numbered ring on the left side of the picture that came from the local shop LOOT which specializes in industrial antiques and dead stock.
The piece became about beliefs: belief in a superior being who created things, or belief in the micro cosmos of biological origin. Eash side opposing the other. The circle onthe left, criss crossed iwth bicycle spokes that hold a face inside a gear, and the other side is an ovum full of typewriter parts being attacked by sperm made out of the ends of loom wire that carry the warp.
This is my box of body parts from which I harvestthe bits and pieces that I need as I stick together my figures out of odds and ends. Selecting the right pieces takes a long time. Devising the right method of attachemnt of rubber to metal or wood to plastic and metal and cloth to metal etc etc also takes quite a bit of time but mostly needs experiience and the right glues and compounds. I use alot of great products from Aves Company which makes kneadable epoxies and stuff that can fill in gaps between parts as well as stick them togehter and also be sculptural.
These figures tend to sell well in the gallery at Shelburne Falls, so many of these have already gone out into the world and are lost to me. THe Pisser ones sold very quickly!
This lights up as you can see. It is an old kerosense heater for a body, with phone cord heair and grease gun dick.You cna't see it well int his picture, but one arm ends in sort of a hatchet. There is a doll foot dangling out of the mouth.
I didn't have another hand of that size--this piece is pretty large-- heence the hatchet arm. THen it became a Tranny-sylvanian Devil due to the skirt, dick, and devil face. Yes, it is pretty distrubing on many levels.
Gender identity came up in my early work quite often. Part of me always identified with the male, leading me to feel an imposter syndrome as a female. Perhaps becasue my mother way such a strong figure, and I worshipped my older brother? I did have, still do have, many fears about my competence in some areas; while in others I have no hesitation and am bold.
I see in this drwaing my desire to blossom and hold an open heart. But also, the intellect and the editor inhibit me, poison me. Perhaps this is not so much a gender issue as a more general inability to have a voice in the world, to find the right soil to nurture my growth. I am sad that as a teenager, I couldn't find the right help with this, and resorted to alcohol and alternating wilding versus isolating.
I don't recall that I created much good art in high school. I was way-laid by social problems in adjusting to the move from Baltimore to Amherst and by family adjustments that led me to feel extremely isolated and abandoned.
In a few days, I will be visiting my high school teacher and her husband, and may find out things that I have forgotten. Trauma following the high school years, as well as substance abuse during those years, has affected my memory of those times. Whenever I meet someone from back then, I am amazed at their clear recall of what happened.
When I was sixteen, I moved into my own apartment and proceeded to self destruct at a rapid pace, and ended up dropping out of school and moving to Provincetown. These things did not result in art making. I was trying to find a place I could belong where I could find love and be known.