Katha Rossein, figurative archival dye sublimation on metal
Studying Fine Arts at NYU during the late 1960’s was a time fraught with political movements both from the anti war movement to civil rights to the woman’s movement and my training as both a painter and print maker quickly combined using figurative expression to speak to the politics of the times.
I went on to teach art in the New York City public schools to high school students, for four years post-graduation, once again using the body as an expression of rebellion mostly through photo collage. Teaching was very rewarding and inspired me to go for my masters degree in printmaking, but my father, a dentist and gifted sculptor, encouraged my interest in medicine and I instead went back to University and achieved my medical degree at New York Medical College.
Medicine was the polar opposite of art for me requiring exacting studying and repetition to perfect but I loved it equally, only now my relationship to the body as my primary subject, shifted to healing, encouragement, caring and observation.
The concentration changed from political to personal, from individual to family. And the years passed and as I aged so did many of my patients – the new conversation embraced the harder questions of loss, turbulence and suffering as well as triumphs and change. Years of healing and caring, as well as creating and nurturing my own family gave way to more personal time and again the need to paint reemerged.
Painting the figure had evolved with me and now came from a deeper appreciation of the hidden, the emerging and finally the spoken sensuality of all bodies. I continue to observe and appreciate how helping people not only feel good but also look good is an amazing gift and I take the positive energy I get from that and throw it into color, movement and form. Medicine and art for me continue to be intimately connected as the body speaks sometimes directly and sometimes through innuendo but always revealing an inner joy.