Monika Rosen

Residency: Aspirus 04

27  June – 8 August 2013

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Monika Rosen‘s (Canada) upbringing as a Jewish Mexican Canadian, and her feeling of being disconnected or different from the communities she grew up around, has led her to become deeply involved with questions of identity and perception related to the external environment that influences us, our own personal understanding of who we are, and the conflicts between those.

Her recent art practice explores the mechanisms of the creation of identity from within, as a reaction to the construction of identity which we habitually negotiate driven by environment external to ourselves. Rosen is interested in how we go about finding our place in the world, how we come to terms with our abilities and values, and how we can learn to judge those by our own self-defined standards, which are connected to but are not necessarily limited by the world around us.

Recently her work (primarily in oil paintings) has depicted the struggle involved in the pursuit of clarity in our self-perception. She explores the gap between self-image and reality, what those, highly ambiguous, terms define, and the transformative aspect of their examination relative to our self actualization. In order to depict this Rosen is developing a personal symbolism within her work, using water as a metaphor for our subconscious, and light to suggest clarity. Her current series of work (entitled “Self-Refraction) shows close up figures in various stages of being obscured by, submerged in, or overcoming water.

During her residency at ArtFunkl, Rosen has gone back to her drawing practice as a method of researching her subject in more depth. She temporarily broke away from the dictates of oil painting in order to explore new ideas which has eventually led her back to the canvas with a willingness to approach oil with a different outlook and fresh ideas.