Chandra Cerrito Contemporary
October 5 - November 29 2012
Artist Talk moderated by
interviewed by Lucy Kasofsky for SFAQ, October 2012
It's always fun to show someone whose work strikes you. Donna's work is very large scale pastel drawings on paper. Some of them literally ten feet long, they're massive. Some of course , are more normal scale, like 30 by 40 or something, and what she's doing is inspired by reading the news and different news articles, and often it's a tragic experience, like maybe a drug overdose or a drive-by shooting, or somebody lost in the woods. That's what the news is - it's usually playing off the tragedy. So she collects these news articles, and works with actors who come in and she'll give them some rough idea of a scene that she could imagine and then they act it out. They kind of have freedom of how to act it out, and then she takes photographs of them while they're acting, and with those photographs she starts manipulating the images and intensifying the colors to hint at the passion and the intensity of the moment. She ends up drawing these beautiful drawings on large white backgrounds so their's a lot of negative space. but these characters, usually young women, in these really sort of disturbing situations, and yet they're not sensationalized at all. There's ambiguity as to what's happening, so there's something very under-your-skin about it, there's something disturbing, but you're not quite sure why. They're really evocative.
Art consultant and gallery owner, Chandra Cerito Contemporary, Oakland Ca.