Today, we are publishing our twenty fifth interview in our new series, Hope in Adversity. One that’s based around art, artists and isolation during the midst of Covid-19. This one is with award winning mobile photographer and artist Katya Rosenzweig from Boston, MA, United States. This is a genuinely affective narrative that is emotionally compelling as well as intellectually stimulating and dripping with imaginative and original synthesis of mobile art.
To read others in this series of interviews with Jill Lian, Vicki Cooper, Gerry Coe, Sarah Bichachi, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Phyllis Shenny, Alisa Smith Williams, Joy Barry, Fleur Schim, Fiona Christian, Peter Wilkin, Ile Mont, Lynette Sheppard, M. Cecilia Sao Thiago, Rob Pearson-Wright, Catherine Caddigan, Cintia Malhotra, Linda Toki, Melissa Johnston and Susan Latty, please follow this link
If you are social distancing or social isolating at this time, how are you using any additional time you may have to create mobile digital art or photography?
My work schedule changed since Covid quarantine was imposed on us.I am spending almost all my time at home since March 2020. Does it seriously change my life style and work habits? I don’t think so. I have more time to my work and less time for routine. I work 4-5 hours a day and develop lots of projects, many of which are still in my head waiting to be finished.
If so, have you noticed the style of art that you’re creating changing from what you would normally create?
The changes mostly affect my vision and my performance. I would be very happy to continue my favorite subjects: human faces, trees, animals, flowers, ocean – all sources of my inspiration for years. But everyday the news is getting more and more sinister. My inner voice started to sound quite loud making impossible to ignore it. My life full of reading, walking, and painting has suddenly changed.. The changes came from my emotions, I found myself standing on the edge of disaster, that involves thousands of people around of me, and I am a part of them. That boggled my mind until I began to work it out.
If yes, to the above, can you explain how your art has changed?
I started to make images. “Social distance” appeared the first.This work has received Honorable Mention at Gopic fb group of conceptual art
(“Out of the Box” mobile Art Gallery Thessaloniki, Greece).
I took small figures of different colors and size and used them to organize the crowd in the subway. My intent was to show unpredictability of human behavior, in situations like overcrowded subways, lines in supermarkets where people has to keep distance. Virus created panic. Fear of became sick with Covid made many people crazy, pushed them to come over normal behavior in the waiting for full collapse of reality.
Have you found additional inspiration to create at this time?
My vision reflected this. My gamma has changed to be more dark then usual. Contours were getting sharper, but faces lost their personal identity.
This style became more clear in several works I made under one title “Locked City” about young and old people, families with children have being locked together in their shelters. Special place belongs to the portrait of Dr Fauci, the prominent scientist and head of Institute of pandemic & infection decease. I called this image “Say truth – save life”. Images
“Locked at home”, “Isolation”, “Scream in empty house” are the body of my series. I used my street photography made before the pandemic, my sketches and drawing.
I feel deep attachment to all these people in the troubles of the pandemic.
Is creating mobile digital art /photography helping you at this time specially, how and why?
My attention was on New York city, center of the pandemic on the East Coast. My son lives and works in New York and stays here during all of the period of quarantine. He sent me visual clips of empty streets, closed shops, businesses, museums… Broadway looks like dead pan with closed theaters and no working lights of recent shows.
Crematories of New York City worked 24/7, there was no space in city to burry people. The ashes of not identified bodies were buried in common graves at Hope island.
Do you feel that sharing mobile art/photography at this time is spreading a unity of peace?
It is difficult to call this situation inspirational. The subjects I tried to speak about were very painful. The important part of them were elderly people from nursing facilities who usually died along with no help.
My image “Between life and death” is a tribute to thousands elderly people who died in hospitals and nursing homes. It was not easy to express the feeling of death, I never tried it before, but my mind was obsessed. I cannot stop to think about them until I found my photos made in hospital with sick woman who became my model. The predominant color in the image is white, it is fog color which helped me to express transformation of human being. When I finished, I suddenly realized that at some point it reflected the history of my family behind this image..
I feel emptiness, but later it brings me strong relief.
My works with pandemic subject didn’t came with no attention, they were included at 100 best works at the Mobile exhibition of MDAC in Silicon Valley, California (www.mdacsummit.org). One of them “Scream in the empty house.” was included in the 10 best of show.
“Between life and death” received 2nd place in category Digital Art at the Exhibition “My America” in Philadelphia.(wwwgardeavant.org) International Salon of Contemporary Art). This is not only sign of success of artist. It is a sign of ability of Digital Art to touch the hearts and souls of people even when subject is not easy for human emotions.
Anything else you would personally like to add, please add it here
I continue to work on the pandemic series and recently created a couple of more works with the name “Before and after”. A different angle gives me an opportunity to compare our life before Covid and after it. I am not sentimental but life before quarantine looks sometimes idillic in contrast with the future that remans foggy and unpredictable. Looking to the recent events in our country and especially to the people’s reaction to it, I cannot see lots of optimistic signs. Instead of unity in peace I see separation and hostility.
People young and old are going to the streets protesting against racism, cruelty, racial inequality, lack of leadership. Every day brings bad news: thousands are getting sick and dying, and hospitals have become overwhelmed and overcrowded. I think that our country is going through a deep crisis, probably the biggest crisis since the Civil War. People lost their jobs, houses, communities they have been connected for life.
As an artist I feel it probably more deep in my heart.
Digital art and not only digital, gives me sense of my inner freedom which is very important at the time of human crisis, promising relief, support and Hope.
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