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Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art
Is trauma a key accelerant to creating compelling art? How central should this question be in developing one’s art practice? I begin with these two questions and transition into examining how a single traumatic event, the suicide of my twin brother, Le’ad Rosenblith, redefined my ability to imagine and perceive myself. Through telling the first handfirsthand account of living with this other person, the boundary between my own life and my twins life became porous and at certain times interchangeable. Then, ten years ago, in an instant, that lifelong connection was gone.
After presenting my firsthand account of the events that lead to my brother’s suicide, I transition into how my art practice became a way to formulate a new individualized identity. Through a process of trial and error, I found myself drawn to various populist mediums: murals, books, printed matter and painting. These flat surfaces are then layered in a dense web of grotesque cartoon imagery, my personalized visual language. This pictorial strategy is employed to address both personal and historical narratives dealing with trauma. Robert Crumb and Daniel Clowes influenced my approach to image making. These two comic artists provide their viewers with deeply, dark, sequential narratives that exhumed each artist’s id for their readers. Artists like Philip Guston, Dana Schutz, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and Nicole Eisenman provided a “third way” to utilize the graphic impulses of the cartoon image at a grand scale, transforming the surfaces of their paintings into palimpsests that give up ghostly narratives. These influences help inspire the formation of my first publication, PINK a compilation of my sketchbook work from 2011-13. The subject of these small doodles are imaginary human heads that act as reminders of death.
Today, ten years after my twin’s death, I feel compelled to readdress this personal trauma into my art practice in a more direct way. This lead to a body of work utilizing the authority of a university museum to legitimize a fictionalized space: A Retrospective of Edo and Le’ad Rosenblith-The Radiant Twins.
Program Director's Department
Graduate School of Art
Rosenblith, Edo, "DoDo Rose: The Radiant Twin" (2017). Graduate School of Art Theses. ETD 90.
Available for download on Sunday, September 18, 2044