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Meet Danielle Rosen a Professional Artist in Wicker Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle Rosen.

Danielle, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born in Iron Mountain, MI, a small mining town in the Upper Peninsula. It is a lush and complicated region. I think that my obsession with the animal, as a concept, stems largely from this environment. Growing up surrounded by deer, foxes, and pine trees made an indelible impression. Less romantically, the strong hunting culture also had an impact on how I view the complex dynamics between human animals and our non-human kin.

Making art has always been an elemental part of my being. It is simply how I sense and process the world. Early on, I knew that I would go to art school and live in a city. It was just a matter of money and in the end, I was lucky to be awarded significant scholarships to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). When I arrived, I knew I had found a home and community.

Directly after undergrad, I moved to Chicago to attend graduate school at the University of Chicago (Uchicago). The program appealed to me because it has an interdisciplinary structure and the faculty are artists that I deeply admire. It was a privilege to take academic classes focused on animality, fashion theory, and affect theory while making art in the studio. The program was everything that I needed at the time.

After finishing graduate school, I decided to stay in Chicago to live and work. The community in Chicago has been very supportive, especially Produce Model Gallery, 65Grand, Prairie, ACRE, Candor Arts, and Tusk. And the faculty of both Uchicago and MIAD have also continued their support, especially Laura Letinsky, David Schutter, Nicholas Frank, Caryl Pagel, Will Pergl, and Mark Anderson. I feel very grateful for the opportunity to continue working with such thoughtful and ambitious artists, throughout Chicago.

Has it been a smooth road?
My life has been so full of gifts. Each year they grow exponentially.

When some gifts are received, they can feel devastating. For example, after going straight through school and earning my MFA, I planned to stay nestled in academia. Teaching was the next logical step. After rounds of interviews and hundreds of applications, I could not find a teaching job. It felt truly devastating at the time. It was the first time in my life that I couldn’t just hard my work my way through the problem to reach an outcome that I wanted.

The break from academia was such a shadowed gift. It provided the time I needed to develop my own practice outside of an academic institution. Since then, my work has expanded. My practice has become deeply personal in ways that I wouldn’t have allowed for in an academic context where I used to feel more guarded. I have been attending residencies, which I would not have been able to do if I had an adjunct teaching position to keep. In fact, right now I’m happily writing to you from a beautiful residency called HEIMA, in Iceland. The break allowed me to flourish as an artist and person. Now I feel confident that I will make a much better teacher when I choose to pursue that route.

There are so many more sequined and scorched gifts to come. I welcome them.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Professional Artists – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I’m an interdisciplinary artist who examines what it means to be an animal. I attempt to operate from the position that questions of animality are not binary but rather a tangle of ecologies and richly complicated identities, framed by culture. Examining cultural representations of human animals and non-human animals is important to understanding interactions between various beings and how we collide within cultural structures.

Recently, I made a series of cast metal sculptures by reassembling and casting plastic decoys made to represent non-human animals. Some decoys are used for hunting, others are used as lawn decorations or predator/pest deterrents. I am interested in how all of these different representations might converge into one abstraction.

How human-animals use fashion is also an interest that I fold into my work. The fashion system as a site for gendered expressions, mating displays, and molting processes are concepts that I’ve been exploring. Fashion manifests materially in my work through the use of makeup as a performative tool and poetic look books that describe fictional fashion collections.

These look books are authored by Patricia Rose. Rose is a performative platform that I’ve published under since 2011. They are an entity that engages in collaborative authorship. Rose’s identity shifts with each thematic project and set of collaborators.

Across all of these processes, I create webs of references to examine the concept of the animal and to think through being as a relational, corporeal network. Every time I feel as though I get closer to defining the animal, it slithers away. Ultimately, my investigations into animality lead to love and kinship. I’d like to imagine love as a process that allows for mutation, confusion, and multiplicity. Sometimes part of love is embracing a process of care and watching it unfold into something unexpected.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the supportive art community of Chicago.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Tue Juelsbo
Jordan K Fuller
Javier Bosques

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