Visiting Madam JoyeVisiting Madam Joye
Visiting Madam JoyeBetween The Lines

Christine Rossi

Berkeley, CA

Artistic Disciplines:
Visual Art

Artist Statement:

I have lived in the Bay Area, specifically Berkeley, for the past 25 years. In this time I have been absorbing influences from the various cultures that have interesected my life. The current project that I have been working on crosses many cultural boundaries and incorporates these influences into my visual art.

Our ideas on death and how we come to terms with the certainty of death have been narrowly defined in popular American Culture. Fear, sorrow and denial have been prominent in how we have dealt with death and dying, but thanks to the influx of other cultural influences we begin to look at death with reverence, humor, creativity and celebration.

Because of recent tragedies in my life, I began exploring my relationship to my own mortality and how my exposure in the Bay area to other cultural practices have influenced my ideas on death and coping with the certainty of death.

Folklore and mythology from European, African and Latino cultures have greatly influenced the subject matter of my recent work, which has centered around the exploration of the traditions surrounding mortality, death and the "after-life".


My process: 

My Images have been drawn from Greco-Roman and African mythology: and Latino folkloric practices specifically centered around the Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos).

"A Visit with Madame Joye" uses Catrina's (elegantly garbed skeleton dolls from Dia de Los Muertos) to tell the story. The installation shows a visitor to a fortune teller who shows her that death is always present.  Her right hand holds cards of love and her left hand holds cards of death there is no difference in the outcome, just the path.  Above them is the Orisha, Oya (change and death) looking down upon the scene, part of an archway that can be a window to the future or the end of the road.  All pieces are made from recycled materials, paper mache and wire and the installation stands 78" H by  60" W by 48"D


"Between the Lines" is an assemblage of an original painting that has been physically torn apart and reconstructed.  The imagery borrows from the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone but the images have been altered to resemble figures from "La Dia De Los Muertos". Celebrating those family members who have died by holding vigil on their graves with candles and partaking of a feast of food and drink with their spirits.

Casein and oil paint on paper on canvas.  38"H X 24"W. 


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