Katha Rossein, from physician to abstract figure painter
I have spent my life creating safe spaces for patients to reveal themselves… In turn, painting has given me that safe space to reveal myself.
The body is my medium- I see/feel/know the body as something that gives me inspiration. As a physician and artist it is the language with which I am most comfortable.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 then went on to complete my medical degree at New York Medical College and for forty years I have been caring and nurturing others and helping the body be its best. The concentration changed from political to personal, from individual to global community – the new conversation embraced the harder questions of loss, turbulence and suffering as well as triumphs and change.
Painting the figure had evolved 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. My art simply is my visceral voice- that organic appreciation of the inner and visual collective self that has unfolded before me as a physician.