Selective Focus: Pandemic Persistence

This week, a quick update on two artists we’ve featured earlier this year. Carolyn Olson and Annelisa Roseen both started projects at the beginning of the pandemic, and are still regularly producing pieces based on the theme and guidelines they set for themselves. Carolyn Olson paints and draws essential workers in their settings, and Annelisa Roseen takes a selfie each day in make-up and costume of an interesting person born on that day.

Curbside Food Delivery Worker
Essential Worker Portrait #30
21 x 29, 7/16/20

Olson’s work started with the people who were top-of mind at the time: Nurses, grocery store workers. As the pandemic continues on, her work has also characterized positions such as “Occupancy Counter,” “Drive Through Covid-19 Community Testing Workers,” “Voters” and “Curbside Delivery Worker.” The collection of work is a powerful reminder of the evolution of what has become daily life for all of us, and what it takes to keep our lives moving forward.

Occupancy Counter
Essential Worker Portrait #55, 11/9/20

Roseen’s work creating caricatures of herself may be more light-hearted, but is just as impressive in it’s scope and accuracy. She sculpts the shapes of her face with bold, sometimes crude strokes of make-up, adds wigs, costumes and props, but the convincing finishing touch on her portraits is her ability to set her expression to match a recognizable moment in each personality. When her images appear in an Instagram scroll, I always find myself trying to guess the person before scrolling down to see her comment identifying that day’s subject.

Carolyn Olson Essential Workers
Carolyn Olson previously on PDD
Annelisa Roseen Instagram
Annelisa Roseen previously on PDD

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