Christa Palazzolo received her BFA from The University of Texas at Austin, with a study in Painting and Printmaking. Currently focused on using portraiture as a vehicle of mockery, isolation, discomfort, and objectification, she strives to confront formal aspects of painting with a contemporary voice and commentary. Sarah Hope reports!
What or who do you feel inspires you the most?
Music, peers, nature, imbalance, injustice, human interactions
What artistic techniques are you currently favoring?
Geometry & gradients.
Could you tell me more about your current work on subjects and the waste they create? For example what challenges you may have had in effectively depicting this uncomfortable mix?
I started the series after having lived in NY for a couple years. My time there left me with an uncomfortable feeling of complete helplessness concerning the amount of waste we humans create - especially trash which will never degrade. The sentiment of an entire nation was pushed in my face. The main challenge was to channel that into my portraits (which I still feel I need to further develop). Making the trash wearable seemed like the obvious anecdote to connecting the two ideas, without making it too forced. I used a lot of my friends there as subjects.
I feel the realist element of your work favors the discomfort you wished to create for these paintings, would you consider yourself realist? how would you describe your own style?
I suppose so. I strive to confront abstract thought since I feel confined to realism at times.
Would you consider your work feminist? or more general in their objectification of the subject?
I don't feel my work is necessarily feminist, but Iím for the sentiment that art should challenge conventional stereotypes and motives.
What draws you to focus on portraiture? what do you aim to achieve with the blend of an old and formal technique with contemporary subjects and backgrounds?
Faces are a universal language, and one that continuously intrigues me as I develop relationships with people. Classic portraiture (pre-camera) created a world where the reality of each subject was up to the painter; the portrayal was such a personal interpretation. The first thing I am visually struck by in someoneís appearance is not necessarily the first thing you see. That kind of human connection seems so outdated in this day and age, which is why I love throwing modern elements into the mix to ground it to my own time period.
What kind of reactions have you had from those whose portraits you have painted?
Totally varies: from surprise and flattery to lots of questions, confusion, etc.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
September 2014 I'll be in a group show in Austin, Texas at Gallery Black Lagoon. Thoughts of 2014 abound..