EXPRESSING EXPERIENCES OF TRAUMA THROUGH ART

Art has been a part of my life in some way or other since I was a child. Like many survivors, art provides me with a venue to express what words cannot at times.  My art style has developed into something I am proud of and wanting to share, in the hopes that other survivors may see themselves represented in the pieces. My art currently holds themes of religious trauma, sexuality, chaos and healing.

DISORGANIZED

Painting: Mixed medium, acrylic
Title: Disorganized
Artist: Jessi del Rosso

Description:
I was feeling dysregulated. I was feeling overwhelmed and angry and was struggling to release frustration.

When I tuned into how my body wanted to express these emotions, I was drawn to painting.

I turned on a Mazzy Star album, smoked some cannabis, laid out some paints and mediums - and this was the result.

This painting resembles how disorganized attachment can leave us feeling overwhelmed and unable to ground ourselves. It can feel chaotic and as though there are pieces of you torn and scattered into different directions.

The heart with lily’s reminded me of my Catholic upbringing. I was taught that the Virgin Mary’s flower is the lily. Catholicism is a significant part of my abuse history and development of disorganized attachment. Not for sale.

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DECEPTION

Painting: Mixed medium, acrylic

Title: Deception

Artist: Jessi del Rosso


Description:

This painting is meant to invoke a sense of chaos, unrest and confusion within the viewer. When painting, I tried to express these emotions in regards to beliefs and values instilled by the church that are then contradicted. The candy represents the chasing of sugar - short term reward - taking our eye off of the prize. All the while, the prize is never actually able to be reached.

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WE ARE DYING

Painting: Mixed medium, acrylic

Titled: We Are Dying

Artist: Jessi del Rosso


Description:
I started this painting when I was feeling angry about the housing crisis and covid pandemic, the injustice and inequality financially that exists among us and the fact that those of us on the bottom - the working and poor class, are suffocating.
We are drowning.
We are legitimately dying.

This painting is supposed to invoke disturbance, panic and discomfort. That second of a feeling is what those in the working lower and middle class live with every day. We are watching the elimination of these classes.

What will happen to us?

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THE CREATION OF ADAM'S DESIRE

Painting: Mixed medium, acrylic

Title: The Creation of Adam's Desire

Artist: Jessi del Rosso

Description:

I think of the pedestal that Adam is placed on in the Catholic faith. Women are often shamed and blamed for the "sins" of Eve. Her sin, being the desire to know more. This painting represents the sexualization and demonization of women by cis men.  

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EASTER SUNDAY

Painting: Mixed medium, acrylic

Title: The Creation of Adam's Desire

Artist: Jessi del Rosso

Description: 

Easter Sunday features a bleeding Madonna in the shape of a vagina. The purity of the Virgin is an unattainable expectation placed onto women. The sexuality of women is labeled as sinful and dirty. We are told to hide our bodies so as to not tempt. This painting is an act of rebellion against standards based on purity culture. I rebel against the policing of women's bodies. Red stains white.

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KNOWLEDGE IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

Painting: Mixed medium, acrylic

Title: Knowledge is in the Eye of the Beholder

Artist: Jessi del Rosso

Description: 

I often think about the condemnation of Eve, accepting the apple from the serpent. In my experiences of abuse within the catholic church, I reflect on the discouragement from asking questions and gaining more knowledge about the world around us. Blind faith is something I never resonated with or believed in, even as a child. In my mind, the serpent is not "evil", but simply providing the opportunity to be on the same playing field with knowledge possessed. Not for sale. 

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LET'S BE QUEER TOGETHER

Painting: Mixed medium, acrylic 

Title: Let's Be Queer Together

Artist: Jessi del Rosso

Description:

I have struggled with internalized homophobia since my teen years as a result of growing up in a fundamentalist catholic home. This painting is an act of rebellion and celebration of queer love and desire. Not for sale.

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MOMMY DEAREST

Painting: Mixed medium, acrylic

Title: Mommy Dearest 

Artist: Jessi del Rosso

Description: 

Mommy Dearest expresses kink desire for care, comfort and safety provided by Dom(me)s. Many survivors of abuse did not experience care, love or affection in health and safe ways. For some, having a relationship with a human in which these needs can be established and met with trust, can be powerful and freeing.

Mommy Dearest speaks to the littles in all of us who were abused and treated as broken toys and who desire to be cared for and protected.

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