Artist Karrie Ross is a survivor.
Essay: Dave Barton, 2017
In person, you can see it in her eyes: the bright, weary glare of a woman who has been playing the boy’s club art game for more years than it’s polite to ask. I could see it in my recent studio visit with her. You can see it in the numerous works featured on her website.
Five figures—wood templates for a planned series of metal sculptures—stand in front of the window, sun bursting through the gaping holes in the middle of each, as if they’ve just faced a firing squad. Wire and bead designs hang inside the holes; Tao symbols, wheels, eggs, and flowers all standing in for viscera. In place of faces, more beaded glass gives us eyes, noses, the suggestion of a wan smile; fright wig hair springing from the heads painted to represent Wu Xing (Elements). Given a little refinement and the more solid structure that metal will bring, one can easily imagine them whirling on spinners as kinetic pieces.
Other idiosyncratic figures, still alone, but grouped together in The ONE: Boxed, looking like solid bricks in a wall. The more than a dozen small boxes, exquisite corpses covered with vibrant card art created by another artist and repurposed by Ross, feature a lone figure attached at the top or side. Solitary, defiant, the planted figure often defying gravity, and never too far away from its origin: Cut from the front of the card art, it has left a bright and beautiful Hiroshima shadow underneath.
That lonely figure standing amid a chaotic background is a continuing theme in her latest works on paper. In Nature: The ONE with Water, the armless figure stands in water, towering high above the tiny wave breaks below. Her tapering neck—bright, lightbulb head glowing gold—sways and Continue reading