We had the good fortune of connecting with Rose Briccetti and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rose, what role has risk played in your life or career?
My relationship with risk is endlessly fraught; I know how vital risk taking is to success and art making, but managing the fear that comes with it is incredibly hard. Being an artist is inherently risky and I constantly try to remind myself that pursuing this crazy path in the first place was the biggest risk of all and there’s really no reason to start playing it safe at this point!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m an artist, working mostly in painting, making work about various plant and animal species whose natural histories collide in unique ways with human history. I do tons of research in order to make large scale triptychs which densely collage together imagery from pop culture, history, art history, biology, and internet culture. Visually, my work is colorful, vivid, and funny, making it accessible even without a deep dive into the more conceptual aspects of the work. I think of my paintings as eccentric taxonomies of the narrative and iconography of particular species, and I design and install them in ways that reference natural history museum dioramas.
I’m currently working on a piece that traces the history of the banana and am heading out of town tomorrow morning to meet an exotic fruit farmer who grows varieties of the fruit beyond the singular “cavendish” banana we can buy at the grocery story. These bananas are all clones of a single plant, used because they are easiest for global supply chains to work with, but this kind of monoculture has and continues to have dramatic impacts on our world politically and ecologically.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I grew up in Missouri, so I love barbecue and hit up Bludso’s as frequently as I can to remind myself of home!
As an artist, natural history and museology nerd, and general weirdo, I of course take everyone I can to the Museum of Jurassic Technology–a spot that has certainly influenced my work!
Last summer when I was installing a show at Lei Min Space in Chinatown (a gem of an art space, though I may be biased!), I got addicted to Pearl River Deli and have loved every dish I’ve tried.
Though it’s impossible to list all my favorite spots to look at art, I do tend to love what I see at Anat Ebgi, Charlie James, and Shulamit Nazarian galleries.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
About 10 years ago, I had a terrible boss and was miserable in my 9-5 job designing museum exhibits. Work was hard to find in this niche field, but I got an offer that would have been a significant pay increase with better benefits in a cool city. My partner and I drove to visit the location, and after I toured around all day we met for dinner where he asked what I thought of the organization. There was no logical reason for me to not take this job, but I just couldn’t make a decision and kind of hemmed and hawed at the question.
He told me–warning I might not like his unsolicited advice–that he didn’t think this was really what I wanted to do with my life and that if I took this job and got comfortable I might never try to be an artist.
And though his comment shook me, he was right. I wanted to be an artist but wasn’t really sure how to make that happen, and was afraid of not having a stable income and health insurance and a clear path forward. And I’m grateful every day to him for giving me the push I needed to do the crazy thing and not take a really good job!