My work explores complex relationships between the body and memory through the lens of power and gender dynamics, and violence and intimacy.

I define “self” as the physical body, with “other” being memory and spirit (along with any object, person, animal or environment at which perception is directed). By exploring the constantly turning thread of tension, anxiety, attraction, and repulsion within these dynamics I’ve come to understand that these waves of involuntary contraction forcing us backwards and forwards are a fundamental peristaltic expression of our existence. It is in this continuously pulsating duality that much of my work is born.

Red Odor Eyes, 2009

Out of this conflict I create pieces that are small and monumental in scale, deteriorating and industrial, and ephemeral and static. I often use industrial materials such as metal, stone, wood and glass, combined with deteriorating bio-materials such as flesh, organs, and plant matter. With this I explore my interest in the abstracted and eroticized body using its organic forms as a visual or contextual starting point.

My early work consisted primarily of large-scale interactive public art that mimicked the expression of self and a larger than life other, using industrial materials. They often resemble giant pieces of jewelry: serpentine and ornate. Later pieces incorporate more of the conceptual duality mentioned above through eroticized and dysmorphic biological imagery. My practice involves creating many smaller studies and maquettes that later become large-scale commissioned works.

Fertile Descent, 2011

About Rosanna

Rosanna Scimeca is the last American born child of Sicilian immigrants. Her parents brought their strict unchallenged morals of an old-school opressing patriarchy along with behaviors of a rural peasant-life environment with them from the mountains of Sicily to a suburban Italian neighborhood in northern NJ.

She faced an upbringing that hid many conflicting realities between the secrative domestic and the urban. Farm animals would constantly appear and disappear from her backyard leading her to discover that the dark, dingy basement beneath her home was being used as an active slaughterhouse.

It was a vibrant, colorful, and often repulsive environment that acted as a powerful breeding ground for a young, curious mind to flourish. It was here that her interest in the provocative and sublime imagery of the dismembered body and mind began.

After leaving New Jersey for New York and the San Francisco Bay Area, Rosanna currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

When she is not in her art studio, Rosanna is at the dojo practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu, or she is reading and writing on the topic of gender power dynamics around intimacy and violence, or she’s perfecting her “bean to bar” chocolate making skills.