In her portraiture, London-based artist Rosso Emerald Crimson renders female subjects who emerge through a haze of pastels and muted tones. She infuses the dreamy oil paintings with responses to current affairs and questions about the future, which often serve as a catalyst for her projects. Issues of racial injustice, gender identity and environmental crisis have all played a major role in her work.

The artist often depicts the women and girls staring forward with unsmiling expressions. Stripped from any temporal/spatial connotation, the female characters in Rosso’s paintings are reimagined within timeless landscapes, evoking a sense of transcendental presence that connect with the viewers at different levels of the subconscious mind.  

Technically, while the portrayal of the figures is achieved by a meticulous rendering using traditional oil painting techniques, the deconstruction (and reconstruction) of the surrounding is achieved by juxtaposition of different media, including spray paint, vigorous scraping and scratching of the surface and application of metal leafs and gilding. The creative process is deliberately chaotic in the making yet geared towards the achievement of both a sense of harmony and a visually engaging imagery.

Painting by Rosso Emerald Crimson

Italian born, Rosso lives and works in London since 2004. Rosso is primarily a self-taught artist. She’s been selected as a 2021 finalist in the “Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize” international competition. Previously, she won the “Jackson Open Painting Prize 2019 (JOPP2019)” for the Portrait/Figure category; “The Holly Bush Emerging Woman Painter Prize 2017” and the “Emerald Winter Pride Art Award” in 2016. She was twice selected to participate in “Sky Portrait Artist of The Year”, aired nationwide in UK in 2020 and in 2019.    

Rosso’s art has been featured in Colossal, Evolved Mag, MyModernMet, Artists&Illustrator; The Artist’s Magazine, etc and on cover of Arena Magazine (Australia). Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally (UK, Norway, US), included in Saatchiart shows, and sold to renown art collectors world-wide.

Rosso Emerald Crimson

What initially drew you to your medium/media of choice?

I’ve been always attracted by oil paint. Indeed, I started out with water-based mediums (watercolor, inks and acrylics, mainly) but once I tried oil paint, there was no return! Mostly, I think I got addicted to the body and density of oils!  

What aspect of your art do you hope really comes across to your audience?

Painting for me is a highly spiritual practice, which helps me connect with a higher self — I hope the audience too resonates with this level of depth, besides and beyond appreciating the aesthetics.

Painting by Rosso Emerald Crimson

Who inspires you in your life, whether it be artistically or otherwise?

I get tickled by so many inputs throughout the day: seeing a granddad hugging a grandchild in the park on my way to the studio, or friends laughing, dancers, music, or birds and wild nature. Inspiration is a state of mind -- if you work on yourself, to become more receptive and “tune-in”, life is so full of very simple wonders that can sparkle our imagination.

What keeps you going as an artist? Where do you find that creative drive?

I always want to try out new things. In 10 years of practice, under many aspects I still have a ‘beginner’ feeling. Of course, with efforts and a lot of passion, I managed to master some bits, but there is so much more that I ‘know’ I still need to learn. And then there is the ‘unknown”, which is really what gives me the daily drive.

Tell us about your primary goal for the future. Has this goal changed over time?

I have some grandiose goals -- a mix of life/career goals that are somehow interdependent. Then I have the short-term goals that keep me focused and help me organize my time efficiently. One is, I would love to create art for charitable projects.

Rosso Emerald Crimson