Woven layers of drips, poured glazes, impasto fragments and liquid brushstrokes show invented textures of fantastical monsters and spaces. The paint oozes, blisters, bleeds, sweats and crumbles in a temperature-oriented palette. Warm, organic forms protrude toward the viewer while cool, cavernous crevices recede into unknown shadow. Both “figure” and “landscape” are the subject matter of every painting, the parts of which are borrowed from glamour magazines, foodie blogs, medical archives, antique catalogs and travel books. My work is essentially about our relationships with our own bodies, as shaped by history and by culture. I have always made art in order to understand something. Art is not so much a medium of expression as it is a mode of learning and knowing. I began painting imagery from inside the body because I wanted to understand my own feelings about my body. The process of searching and collecting images, dissecting them and recomposing them through the visceral qualities of paint mimics a surgical procedure. The work of feminist artists and postcolonial writers has provided me the most guidance in exploring power, othering and exploitation through plastic form. Painting, which is a historically white male-dominated medium, allows me access to the other side of the subject-object dichotomy. With dismay I learned that even as a feminist raised in a matriarchal household, my relationship to my physiology had been molded by social discourse, popular media and industries of self-maintenance. Through collaging and painting body parts, animals, fragments of earth and food, I disentangle lines of influence on my relationship with my body to produce uncanny forms. These monstrous figures and spaces evoke the ambivalence and tension that defines our attitudes toward self and other: disgust, fear, shame, curiosity, lust and compassion. Though ever hidden from consciousness, such feelings shape our lifestyles, our psyches, and our actual physical biology.
Nicole Rose Gelormino is a teaching artist in San Francisco. She is fascinated with paint, empirical learning and her students' artistic development. She is currently working to weave symbiotic relationships among studio practice, teaching practice and feminist critical theory.
Nicole Rose Gelormino
San Francisco Bay Area