Twist of Destiny: When Rosana Friederichs signed up for lessons in 2019 to attend Miami Worldwide College of Artwork & Design, her intent was to pursue an inside design diploma—which, much like her transfer from trend to prop styling, felt like a pure extension of the work she’d been doing.
However a Western artwork historical past course related to distinguished figures in Europe modified every part. For an task during which college students have been tasked with portray a portrait of a star or good friend based mostly on artist from the interval being studied, Rosana determined to color the Joker (the film starring Joaquin Phoenix got here out in 2019). She selected, as her inspiration, the charcoal sketches of Sixteenth-century Italian mannerist Jacopo da Pontormo, who was identified extra for his dramatic oil canvases.
Her model of the Joker captured the “loopy eyes” that drew her to Pontormo’s sketches, in addition to the writing that he included across the perimeter of his portraits.
Nevertheless it was greater than that. Rosana had tapped into the ache that she’d been carrying round for the previous 12 months. And it was rising as a definite, mesmerizing and, at instances, haunting inventive fashion.
“I’ve at all times been an unbiased and beneficiant spirit,” she says. “However, abruptly, I didn’t have cash to pay my payments. At some point, in the midst of summer time, my air conditioner broke. I keep in mind throwing a tantrum. I used to be like, ‘What else, God? What else goes to occur to me?’ So, I suffered in 2018. It ended up being an enormous life lesson as a result of it humbled me.
“However that darkness remains to be there. I can entry it in my artwork once I have to. And I like that.”
It didn’t take lengthy for others to note that Rosana was onto one thing.
She produced a portrait, unprompted, for one among her classmates, a Russian pupil named Susanna Alan who stays her good friend. Rosana needed to current it as a present. However her classmate, recognizing the expertise, refused to simply accept it.
“Susanna informed me, ‘Don’t you ever give away your work at no cost—promise me that,’ ” Rosana says. “I by no means forgot these phrases.”
Alan paid Rosana $500. Quickly, pals and acquaintances have been paying her to do their portraits. “Even my manicurist requested me for one,” she says.
By 2021, having launched an Instagram web page that featured her work, Rosana was reaching an viewers past the nail salon.
Instruments of the Commerce: Rosana struggles to explain her inventive fashion. On the one hand, she sees her sexuality within the work; certainly, earlier than she begins a brand new mission, she “makes like to the paper first” by caressing it, kissing it and hugging it. Her items additionally mirror who she is as an individual, somebody who challenges her boundaries and limits. Somebody whose candor can shift the sand beneath your toes in case you’re not ready for it.
Finally, she sees her work as a dance between two worlds. “There’s good and evil. Yin and yang. Masculine and female energies.”
There’s additionally deep empathy, one other one among her items. Whereas producing a sequence of portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Rosana usually broke down in tears. “I might really feel her ache,” she says. In her artist assertion concerning the sequence, Friederichs added that Monroe was “a delicate, lonely lady that struggled to reside with stardom. I captured her in moments of desires, disappointment, ingesting … questioning the which means of life. I’m positive in all of that there’s a bit of myself.”
After sketching the define with pencil, Rosana is apt to include something and every part into her portraits. For an Anne Boleyn piece she produced—one among two well-known queens (Marie Antoinette was the opposite) that have been featured this summer time on the Hamptons High-quality Artwork Truthful—she managed to infuse the Bristol paper with charcoal, steel leaf, gentle pastel, lipstick, nail polish, candle wax and glitter.
And, after all, her blood.
“I used to be chopping greens within the kitchen, and I minimize my finger,” she says, when requested concerning the origin story. “I used to be taking aspirin on the time, so my blood was skinny. I keep in mind it and pondering the way it appeared like paint. So, I walked throughout the room and added it to a portray I used to be engaged on. I’ve been utilizing it ever since.”
Although there’s a charge for artists to look at occasions like “Le Carrousel du Louvre” in Paris (the place Rosana displayed one of many Monroe items and bought a piece titled “Geisha Sakura”), such prestigious expos don’t settle for simply anybody with an easel and paintbrush. She credit Artio Gallery for being a relentless advocate of her work. The gallery’s chief curator, Bisa Bennett, found Rosana on Instagram; since then, Artio has secured spots for her at particular reveals and artwork gala’s regionally and overseas.
Alongside the best way, the gallery has helped to lift greater than her profile. On the Hamptons High-quality Artwork Truthful, Anne Boleyn and Marie Antoinette have been priced at $24,500.
Folks persistently ask her about promoting the Joker, however, as her first work, Rosana says, “There’s no worth for that piece.”
Within the meantime, there shall be loads of alternatives to promote different portraits, together with at Purple Dot Miami, a curated modern artwork truthful later this 12 months (Nov. 30 to Dec. 4) throughout Miami Artwork Week.
“The remark I hear again and again is that my artwork is exclusive. For me, that’s the most important praise. And I believe that’s why that is all occurring so quick,” she says. “I do know I’m going to achieve success. I’ve identified from the second I bought the portrait to my Russian good friend for $500.
“Folks undergo their entire life and by no means discover their ardour. I discovered mine.”
Portrait pictures by Eduardo Schneider
Vogue styling courtesy of Jody McDonald