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Rebecca Russo

IT is a constant dance between beauty and horror, between the honest line and the choices of exaggerated ones that make Rebecca Russo’s work something to hold on to.  Whether it's a dripping paint brush or a ball point pen the approach is always the same; an honest and intuitive reaction to something of need and curiosity, something so beautiful.​​​​

Rebecca graduated in 2008 with a degree in Psychology and Fine Art. Both her BA and BFA shows were focused on mixed media room installations, in conjunction with oil paint on canvas.  Russo is currently working and selling original works on paper from her home, located in New Jersey. You can see much of her current work on Instagram, which she considers a virtual gallery.  Here, she not only posts her work, but also insight into her process inspirations and many of her poetic philosophies.  It is here she finds most of her inspirations and subject matter.  Her name alone, “cigarettesandkale” describes her work visually as well as intellectually.

Her many muses are usually stripped of gender and bleed a provocative voice as lipstick smears beyond the lips of each strong, yet delicate creature.  Because of her painting background, she uses pens and inks as if she were layering wet paint onto a canvas, imagining the looseness, she begins to move her mediums to create a sense of paint.  She approaches her muse as if she was traveling through them and on them, just barely touching their skin, understanding the unique qualities and gesture of the figure.  This allows the audience to not only see her process but question it.  Each mark is deliberate, but the outcome is accidental.  Each mark is controlled and yet, we feel a sense of freedom and abandonment. 

Sometimes it's the darkness of a nostril or the odd shape of a bottom lip just hanging, just dangling, just melting.  Long fingers crawling up a face about to eat it alive.  An echo beyond the surface of a face, within a lip, within an ear, within the eyes; like a flower, as it slowly begins to die it slowly comes to life.  The ones that live long after they have died, shriveled, and dried; persevering. 
‘I only draw what I see” said Claude Monet, and Russo does exactly that.  The more she looks the more she sees.  The more beauty, the more glorious decay.

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