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Christine Palamidessi

figurative art and masks

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art by somerville artistChristinePalamidessi titledStargazer: Before Words
Stargazer: Before Words Paper, plaster, paint and mixed media 12 x 8 x 10
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Artist's Statement

My work explores ideas of cultural fragmentation as portrayed in myth, bodies, language and artifacts. I take imprints or develop visuals based on the fragmentations and re-assemble. I work in a wide range of media--sculpture, printmaking, writing, installation. A lot of my work looks at the history of women. I like to call it archeomythological art...yes, that's a mouthful!

I am particularly fascinated with myths and myth containers because myths contain the narrative of having been meaningful. Can something meaningful, when broken, revert back to a mundane object? In my art, I treat a fragment of what was once holy accordingly: still holy, still a container of culture, still a fragment of love that wants to go on existing and connecting. 

My work with fragmentation is inspired by my lifelong fascination with how pieces of anything become like dividing cells that just want to keep on living, often morphing into something ‘other’ or duplicating ‘the same.’ I believe this became my life calling because of the cultural fragmentations in my family or origin. Fragmentations that I always wanted to repair, understand better, or tear away from. 

I enjoy working with paper--molding it, tearing it, compressing it, adding hardening agents to it, painting on it, writing on it. Over the years I have been fortunate to have studied with very precise mask making and cartapesta artisans in Italy.  Most recently I have finished and exhibited a series of masks. Each mask relates to a word we all heard during the pandemic. Right now I am making elegant life-size Mother Sculptures that look as ancient as they look modern. 

During the 2022 Somerville Open Studio event, I am excited to show you my work. Plus: special for this event I will be showing my popular  'one-piece' mini sculptures (bathing suits; circus & acrobatic outfits; Madonna, Lady Gaga, and haute couture body costumes).

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