Art Critic Peter Frank's Essay: RANDI RUSSO: LINE AND PLANE TO SPACE

The new studio is open for showings! See pics below to get a sense of the surroundings. …but the actual viewing room… well, you’ll just have to see that in person… there’s such a good classy yet artsy, vintage vibe here.

I’ve timed this announcement of the new studio with the release of famed art critic and curator Peter Frank’s essay of my work. Click HERE to read it. Thought-provoking and intellectually poetic, it’s quite a good deal to chew on. It’s as substantial as the work is.

I liked many lines in the essay but love these: “…while reliant on the image of nature, Russo’s art is not about nature per se so much as it is about our perception(s) of nature, and equally about the nature(s) of perception. …There is a self-expressive aspect to [the work], to be sure; the ambitious reach of her line and the rhythmicality of her composition bespeak the vitality of a human mind and body making something.”

Peter Frank is a Los Angeles-based art critic and curator. He writes for Fabrik Magazine (as well as is the associate editor there), Huffington Post, and Angeleno Magazine. He was a long time critic for LA Weekly, as well as wrote for the Village Voice and Soho Weekly News. He has curated shows at Riverside Art Museum and the Guggenheim Museum.

To see the work in person, please contact me here to schedule an appointment.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Happy 2019! ...and 2018 wrap-up

WISHING ALL A WONDERFULLY PEACEFUL, PRODUCTIVE, ABUNDANTLY GOOD NEW YEAR IN 2019!!!

As an artist, I believe honesty is the best policy. I’ve always felt comfortable being publicly vulnerable and giving a voice to those afraid to voice their ailments, illnesses, so-called shortcomings. People are still afraid to talk about mental illness. It’s getting better, a lot better, but still shockingly dismal progress in the obliteration of an unnecessary stigma.

Those close to me know that I suffer from crippling depression. I’m also considered a high-functioning depressive. I get a lot done and most don’t see the suffering I go through. …until this past year (so I presume)…

This is where my 2018 wrap-up comes in. While I’d love to say that I’ve completed another 15-20 pieces this year, it hasn’t happened (unless you count all the small pieces I’ve made). I’m still dealing with the grief of the loss of my mother, as well as the grief of so many other losses that I cannot begin to list here. But the loss of my mother is a big one. Whereas some people assumed that I’d be creating like crazy to unleash the feelings, I’ve crawled into a hole which made creativity very difficult to access. That being said,…

Somehow (mostly because of the help of a few wonderful individuals), I put together a solo show here in Los Angeles within only 14 months after moving here with all of the major family trauma going on and with the experience of a multitude of major losses. It was called Liminal Spaces (click link to get definition and read the short artist statement for the show). It was a success in a good number of ways.

That exposure lead to sales. As a businesswoman, this obviously was a great source of pride. To the outside, it looked like I was doing phenomenally well, while inside, I was in a lot of pain. I have been advised throughout my career to never speak of my suffering with depression, that people will not want to work with me because of it. My own gallery back in Chicago even doubted my ability to bring on a show when I showed them nothing but how amazingly I can get a lot done in a short period of time. They started to get to know me personally and saw how crippling the illness can be for me. But I delivered 15 great large paintings in time for my solo show with them in 2015. How could they doubt me after that performance? (Speaking of performance, I also co-wrote 10 songs during that time for that solo show; as well as worked on my own music and started recording 17 songs with my band). *Point Being — I Deliver.*

Which brings me to my next point, just because a person suffers from clinical depression or bipolar disorder, doesn’t mean they cannot get things done on time, do it better than those without a struggle, and actually soar. It’s just that we have to work extra hard when we do have short bursts of energy and motivation.

I know that my works done in 2017 and 2018 have yet to be posted here. I do need to find a professional photographer here who specializes in documenting artwork… I’m still learning the ropes in the massively sprawling, isolating town that is LA. I’m waiting for the bulk of paintings to come together before undertaking such a project, as it makes sense to do many paintings in one session, rather than constantly doing a few at a time. It’s good to leave this stuff to the professionals. As the saying goes, “If you want to be professional, you have to hire professionals.”

So here’s to a better 2019! I hope to be more creative, experience less grief and depression, and have an abundantly good year. 2018 wasn’t all bad… a good amount of sales came in and the value of the work has gone up. Let’s keep going in that direction, shall we?

JUNE SHOW! "Liminal Spaces" at Castelli Art Space in Culver City

 
            Industrial Pastures of the Present - mixed media on canvas, 58x78"

            Industrial Pastures of the Present - mixed media on canvas, 58x78"

 Trouble Finds Her (And Not the Other Way Around) - mixed media on canvas, 60x67"

 Trouble Finds Her (And Not the Other Way Around) - mixed media on canvas, 60x67"

It's here! Finally! My first solo exhibition in LA, Liminal Spaces, will take place from June 8th to 11th at Castelli Art Space in Culver City. The Artist Reception will be on Saturday, June 9th from 5-9pm. I will be there all day and night to show my works and talk to you about them; from 12-9pm on Friday and Saturday and from 12-6pm on Sunday and Monday. Other days that week are available by appointment.

If you are press or a gallerist/art advisor/curator, please inquire about the special preview showing by contacting me through this site.

More details later!!! So excited!

Definition: The Liminal Space -- "If you feel that you are anxiously floating in the inbetween perhaps you are in TheLiminal Space. The word 'liminal' comes from the Latin word limens, which means, 'threshold.' “… It is when you have left the tried and true, but have not yet been able to replace it with anything else." -- Dr. Carrie Barron, Psychology Today

FEATURED ON INTERNATIONAL 1340 ART BLOG

Well, I suppose all blogs are international but this one also puts out a magazine of artists all over the world. Hm, ok... some others do that as well... Regardless, here's the lovely feature (click to read full article):

click above to see full featured article.

click above to see full featured article.

VIEWING of all paintings finally available!

It's been a rough transition in LA, especially with all the family stuff going on (read entries below; it's heavy heavy). That being said, I finally have a proper storage and showing solution in LA! It's a lovely space in Glendale. Please contact me through the contact page to set up an appointment for viewing any works.

There are small to medium works in those boxes (don't worry, everything is properly stored with glassine paper and plastic!) and there are works on paper. And of course, the medium to very large paintings.

Large or small, I'm ready to show!

 

 

Triumphs Take Time, even tiny triumphs... (and they're always temporary)

So things are starting to settle in a bit and I will finally be able to show my art here in LA. I've been invited to be part of a group show at HANGAR GALLERY in Santa Monica. The gallery is connected to the Santa Monica Art Studios near the small airport there. The opening is on Saturday, July 8th, 6-9pm.

More details are on my show page with a map and all.

Below that map are more details about an upcoming group show in Brooklyn, NY, called duality, that I'm a part of. I'm excited to be part of such a cool evening... SATURDAY, AUGUST 12th, 7pm-12am. Many details on that night are also on my show page. I plan on being in NY for it.

Thirdly, I will be part of another LA-based group show... details on that later. It's one that calls for a month of daily working on a single project to be displayed at the group show. The statement I submitted for this show goes as follows:

Shortly after an extremely stressful double-move from Chicago to LA (home and large art studio), I was hit with some very heavy family health crises, as well as my own struggle with health issues of my own. I felt like I made the wrong move, literally. But when I go walking in my strange surrounds, I see beauty everywhere... whether in a plant, flower or tree, or on sidings of dilapidated homes, patterns in broken sidewalks, industrial barbed wire holding back adolescent pomegranates, or concrete walls against the mountaintop sunsets when standing by the LA River. To say it in fewer words, these small paintings, mixed with poems, are about my turbulent first few months here and how my new surroundings created both a concurrent fear and calm in me. 

How this project will come out, I have no idea. Today is day two. I'm working on digital collages from photos and hope to incorporate it into my paintings. I'll have to see how the poetry fits in all of this, as I am writing a good deal. I'm banking on this project leading me to bigger works of art based on my work here. The move to LA, California... with her desert plants with their exotic fruits and small Spanish-style homes surrounding me, making a deep new groove in my decades-old urban-developed brain. LA is such a strange place after NYC and Chicago. This strangeness is what this next project is all about. The landscape here, by the LA River in particular, will inspire my next series.

The inclusion in these shows has given me a spring in my step and hope for my new beginnings here.