Sublime Renderings of Women and Girls Explore Notions of Beauty in Portraits by Rosso Emerald Crimson

“You Better Be Good” (2021), oil on panel, 36 x 36 centimeters. All images © Rosso Emerald Crimson, shared with permission

In her exquisite portraiture, London-based artist Rosso Emerald Crimson renders female subjects who emerge through a haze of pastels and muted tones. She infuses the dreamy oil paintings with responses to current affairs and questions about the future, which often serve as a catalyst for her projects. “I don’t ‘think’ specifically about political or ethical issues when I paint although my creative flow is undoubtedly fuelled by the impressions and emotions many global events leave subconsciously,” she tells Colossal. Issues of racial justice and the unrealistic portrayal of beauty have both played a role in her recent works, including the compelling portrait of a young Black girl titled “What Are We Waiting For.”

Generally, the subjects are people Rosso has a relationship with or someone who’s caught her eye, although she’s expanded her purview to models she’s never met as a way to adapt to pandemic restrictions. The artist often depicts the women and girls staring forward with unsmiling expressions. “I am enchanted by the diversity of human beings which is what truly makes us beautiful,” she says.

If you’re in London, you can see Rosso’s paintings that are part of an exhibition celebrating Women’s History Month at Zebra One Gallery until March 31. She’ll also have pieces on view at Southbank Centre this summer and a solo show at Chrom Art Gallery in November. Prints and originals are available in her shop, and you can see works-in-progress on Instagram.

 

“Enchantress” (2020), oil on canvas, 25 x 18 centimeters

“Oyin” (2020), oil on aluminum, 24 x 18 centimeters

“Tenderly Layla” (2020), oil on aluminum, 20 x 15 centimeters

Left: “Flora” (2020), oil on aluminum, 65 x 50 centimeters. Right: “Girl with ginger hair” (2021), oil on canvas panel, 26 x 20 centimeters

“What Are We Waiting For” (2020), oil on panel, 30 x 27 centimeters

“Girl in polka dress” (2020), oil and silver leaf on panel, 122 x 85 centimeters

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