Artist Statement

My public art practice is three-pronged: photography, alternative photographic processes, and sculpture. I scour locations, photographing moments where archetypes and historical references appear in everyday life - currently this manifests as monuments, war re-enactments, and historic landscapes. Additionally, I collect photos from historical photographic archives; I then digitally splice them into elaborate tableaus which possess distorted depth, scale, and perspective in a nod to historical painting. Once integrated into sculpture or alternative substrates, they transform the photographic imagery's meaning. 

 

Working sculpturally allows photography, often relegated to dusty books and smartphones, to have a bodily relationship with the viewer. In “Island of Empirical Data and Other Fabrications” I have reintegrated vintage photographs of Randall’s Island back into the island's landscape, resurrecting its histories for the contemporary community. These public photo-sculptures address the responsibility of a community/culture to create an informed dialogue with its markers and commemorative practices; one that takes stock in who it is serving and what message we are conveying to the members of our own and other communities. 

 

By installing the works in public spaces and galleries, I am interested in bringing to the surface lost or undiscussed topics of history, cultural assumptions, and our often inaccurate collective understanding of our own history. When creating public art, one has to think carefully about its placement within community and how this work converses with other public works and architecture. The work must be in dialogue, approachable, comprehensible and, above all, service its visitors both aesthetically and intellectually. 

 

For many, the form and scale of a public monument commands authority more than the knowledge of the honoree or event, as seen in the obelisks of “Absent Monuments," which make allusions to fallen empires and underrepresented African culture. My materials also evoke meaning - mirrors superimpose the viewer into the monuments, implicating them into the complex history of our culturalscapes. Looking at how we respond to forms and photo-history, my artworks are concerned with the collective consciousness, the sociological ramifications of photo-manipulation, and the tangled histories of both photograph and monument as truth and myth-maker.

‚Äč

 

rose@desiano.com

Brooklyn, New York