Nancy Rosen’s “Stephanie”, on display at the Evanston Art Center, has a beautifully dark charm to it that pulls you into the frame.  I love the emotion in this piece.  The figure’s place in the composition creates a sense of sorrow and pain.  I feel a contrast between her gentle hand placement and the harsh jagged features on the rest of her face, it almost feels like she has this soft contentedness amid a world of pain.  I was immediately drawn to the woman’s long, bone-like features.  There is so much detail in the woman’s face, it took me a few seconds to realize all of the detail in the background.  I love how the floral pattern in the background plays off of the lines and style of the woman’s face.  I haven’t seen any other work by this artist, but I can easily get a sense of their style just by seeing this piece.  It’s strange how some people feel comfort in melancholy, and how pieces like this one can be so dark, yet warm at the same time.  I think part of my attraction to this piece comes from a place of familiarity.  Seeing this woman in a state of soft sorrow was an experience and identity that I could relate to.  I like that the woman in this piece doesn’t seem to be asking for help or support.  So often women are depicted as fragile and helpless, always needing to be saved.  This piece contradicts this assumption, showing a strong female figure totally comfortable and capable of her emotions.  I would be curious to see other work by Rosen, and ask what their intention was behind this piece.  

Nancy Rosen, Stephanie, 2012 
Installation View: First Floor Gallery, Evanston Art Center
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