Lina Russo

Lina Russo was born in Foggia, Italy and moved to Rome, where she has lived for over twenty years, now she she resides in NYC . She has always carried herself with the determination to shape her own destiny and to live in harmony, free from external conditioning elements. It is this artist′s extraordinary personality that emerges most strongly in her works, from her penetrating gaze to her fickle smile, always ready to flash into action in the face of life′s sudden adversities.

Lina Russo′s work is nonetheless firmly rooted in the figurative heritage of man′s primeval experiments with self-expression. The result is representative of this artist′s struggle for self-awareness. In 2005, Lina was awarded the prestigious Sculpture Artist of the Year award by the Accademia Internationale Citta di Roma.

Art work by Lina Russo are single pieces and are not duplicated. Her unique method as described below includes the demolishing of molds so that each piece represents a unique, one of a kind work of art to be cherished.

The artistic dimension and personal development
A product of her musicality and love, Lina Russo′s sculptures convey her soul′s sensibility and her sense of inner harmony. The fact that Russo′s work does not fit easily into a particular academic category is both the result of her lacking any formal training and the product of her own particular brand of experimentation in art. She combines the courage and innovative zeal of art in the early 20th century with an touching figurative and plastic style that speaks both to the viewer′s rational and emotional natures. But Lina′s conceptual merits can be summed up in her ability to escape the clichès of today′s rampant avant-garde expressions and her predictions for mankind in her work. The worn out and exaggerated anarchism of contemporary sculpture, devoid of any concrete relation to man and the philosophical principles that have spawned civilization and the history of mankind have provoked Lina′s obsessive drive to break all limits.

Russo′s love of life, her notorious contradictions, her soul grappling with the harsh problems of everyday life, the role of eros and sex are all present in her work. She strives to represent work that upholds tradition against the modern condition of man which catapulted into an age of globalized communication, of insistent messages and all the subliminal consequences they bring.

Style, themes and interpretations
Some have likened Lina Russo′s artistic worth to a Pandora′s Box of the human soul. The iconological motif of her art is the flight from social convention and petulant conformism. Her aim is to provoke outcry, to exit the body of the world whilst remaining tied to the naturalness of the soul and using scandal as a measure of her own and others′ interactive relationship. In this way the material creation of each work becomes for Russo a fragment of a larger figurative theory - a new path, a kind of fusion between classicism and innovation. A number of different threads combine in Russo′s work to form a tapestry that tells of eros, the soul, the sudden awakening of life - a body of sentiments that acquire a bodily form.

Unique technique and artistic style
Russo begins work on models for her works in clay before molding cooled resin and acrylic to achieve the final product. Hers is a figurative research into dynamism and simultaneous perception, a cosmic essence that lends even greater strength by the materials she chooses, which are also used for airplanes and spacecrafts. Russo then molds the matter into a basic human resemblance that is framed within the visible confines of sensorial awareness without betraying or distorting the momentum of the soul.

For the most part, Lina Russo′s sculptures are the result of complex technical procedures. Their concentrated grandeur retains a weightless quality, revealing that the artist has broken down her subject according to its kinetic features. Russo′s work appears often as a concentrated muscular mass with erotic allusions - a series of postures fixed with a circumscribed but very tangible energy. Her polished figures contain a certain quality of immobile dynamism that is both moving and surprisingly communicative, with a texture that ranges widely in its effects, from marble to bronze, quartz, bronze and even stone. Allusions to movements of the body, along with elongated eyes and disproportionately long legs are recurrent in the work of Lina Russo, who makes use of light as a buffer between the different planes of her sculptures, deforming their morphological features and obtaining a fusion between body, the instincts of the soul and the surrounding environment. Her works in fact can be likened to the act of watching the formation of a rhapsodic, genuine and intensely sweet drop of liquid that contrasts sharply with the increasingly bitter contours of our contemporary reality.

Lina Russo′s male figures appear completely naked, composed of a series of simplified and even geometric blocks of matter that appear almost dug out of the body of the work. Her ability to strike the right balance between emptiness and volume places her works in line with the plastic forms of traditional figurative art, whilst retaining a vast contemporary depth. When speaking of her working methods, Lina Russo explains that producing a sculpture is like living out a sentimental escapade - your head is full of questions, answers, desperation, excitement, in short it is "magical". Russo likens her sculpting to that blurry erotic state that lies between the first physical contact and its amorous sequel, the most natural act of love whose satisfaction equals that of having achieved creation.

Artistic representation
From a historical point of view, at first glance Lina Russo′s works appear to be a cultured echo of Picasso′s Dada period in sculpture, with the great difference that Russo′s work does not reflect its surroundings but the experiences of a woman. This artist′s ability to play out that fine balance between immobility and animation in her sculptures is the labored result of her attempts to produce a cultivated plastic rendition of her life. But she has done this whilst attempting to respect the natural domain of sculptural representation: the body, shadows, color, the effect of natural light on the final product. It is appropriate, in fact, to hail Russo′s work as a true ′return′ to the essence of sculpture, with its hints of Modigliani and Picasso, passing references to Max Beckmann and lingering at that important cultural crossroads of the avant-garde movements in the first half of the 20th century, that focused on innovation with regards to materials and techniques but that seriously attempted to dissect and reassemble the art forms of the past.

In this remarkable artist′s own words, "how can we free our soul from the unhappiness that man builds for himself more and more, day after day? Does the soul strive for freedom or is it freedom that provides a true soul? Every art work passes through several souls and this is what makes art less immaterial and more concretely useful than is commonly believed".