Rachel Rizzo

MFA ’18 Fine Arts Low-Residency

These paintings are a departure from the work I typically make, which tends to combine representation and abstraction. They are part of a series completed between 2020-2022 which were paintings based on photos that I had taken and shared on social media to connect with the outside world during a time of isolation. Though the initial photos were never intended as references for paintings, I was having trouble with abstraction and it became important to me to document this time with more accuracy. As we were all becoming more familiar with our interior spaces, representational still life was a natural conclusion.

As someone who moved around a lot as a child, I have always been a person who is obsessed with the idea of nesting– I am constantly collecting and combining objects in whatever space I live in, however transient, and attempting to create a sense of comfort and consistency that feels like home. Spending more time with these images during the slow, meditative process of their transformation from photograph to painting allowed me to understand the images– the fleeting light captured by the photo, or the mess on my nightstand– with more depth and subtlety than the immediate gratification of taking a photo and posting it on social media. 

Rachel Rizzo is a painter, printmaker and educator who was raised in Providence, Rhode Island and the southern coast of Massachusetts. As an educator, Rizzo has worked in many settings including the ICA, Boston Public Schools, and most recently at Wentworth Institute of Technology and MassArt. She has been a resident artist at Rural Contemporary Residency in Cividate Camuno, Italy, The Bottega Projects in Montebuono, Italy, and Gate44 in Milan, Italy.