For the Love of Carmine (Lena Moross)

With offhand virtuosity, painter Lena Moross captures her intriguing muse. Preview

For the Love of Carmine

For the Love of Carmine, an ongoing series of portrayals, began when Lena Moross encountered her subject, Carmine Messina, in West Hollywood.

Carmine was publicly enacting his pathos with a grace and self-possession that captivated Moross, to the point where the artist resolved to capture the individual and his enactment as a work – or many works – of art. Moross’ style, with its animated line and vivid color, already finds heightened drama in the everyday; faced with a person whose very presence tells numerous stories, the painter set about depicting Carmine in various circumstances, staged and natural (although in Carmine’s case, a staged portrait is as natural as anything).

Moross’ depictions of Carmine comprise an unusual body of work within her oeuvre. She has worked in series before, and her vivid, highly graphic style might lend itself easily to serialization. On the other hand, by working so unusually – painting with watercolor across physical expanses as broad as those normally commanded by oils or acrylics – Moross encourages herself and her audience both to lose themselves in the picture, in its lusciousness and its delicacy, its movement and its poignancy. For the Love of Carmine

The striking originality of Moross’ approach draws attention to itself even while illumining the scenic drama of a cityscape or the choreography of humans doing daily tasks. With the works in the Love of Carmine series, however, Moross has put her skills and her vision at the service of their subject rather than the other way around. Moross is not just painting Carmine, she is painting about Carmine.

To a great extent, it is the vivacity of Carmine himself that steers the way she paints him. Being who he is – a person of mixed gender who long ago accepted the ambiguity of his inner situation and has since manifested it outwardly as needed – he lives a kind of theatre at the same time as he demonstrates personal contentment with his identity. Carmine’s is a compelling story, and it has a happy ending, making him a choice subject for a painter whose own style is filled with sunny colors and stark contrasts.
For the Love of Carmine

Moross thus treats Carmine as a kind of Buddha, a self-realized being whose peace seems at once hard won and casually worn. This is no more a political or social or psychological statement on the artist’s part than it is on the subject’s; in fact, the kinship they feel is that of individuals doing what they have to do and letting others worry about any perceived contradictions or dissonances. Can Carmine – and the numerous portraits Moross has painted of him – be held up as a role model for those coming to terms with their own intergender natures? Perhaps; but the role he models is one of dynamic, perhaps dramatic, equilibrium, a message not of militancy, but of mediation and, as Moross would have it, illumination.

Arguably, Lena Moross’ manner of painting is as syncretic – and, thus, idiosyncratic – as Carmine Messina’s lifestyle is. Certainly both are models of joyousness and are markedly free of confusion. The relationship they now maintain is based on mutual admiration, not exploitation, and their interaction yields the kind of empathetic energythat challenges notions of “otherness” by transcending them.

For the Love of Carmine

Moross may cultivate Carmine’s exotic aura in her portrayals; lord knows, she hasn’t gravitated to him because he’s boring. But that very sense of style, notable but not flamboyant, suits hers to a T. Moross’ paintings celebrate Carmine’s humanity; and his comfort in his skin reflects the offhand virtuosity of her painting.

This is a match made on earth.

Lena Moross’s solo show opens today, Saturday June 11th at MuzeuMM in Los Angeles.

 

http://diversionsla.com/?p=3900

Posted on June 21, 2016 by Diversions LA

For the Love of Carmine – Lena Moross at MuzeuMM

Above, opening night at MuzeuMM – For the Love of Carmine

We’ve written about Lena Moross’  before, the passionate artist originally from St. Petersberg who has brought classical training and an impressionistic style to her now very-LA work. Running through July 11 at MuzeuMM, Moross’ large scale watercolor portraits in “For the Love of Carmine,” details Carmine, a transgender man that the artist met 5 years ago on a Hollywood street.

Roses, wine, the delicate grace of an intensely female subject inside a bulky male body – these are the images Moross has captured with a magical bent. her paintings are sensuous, voluptuous, depicting a man/cocoon housing his female/butterfly.

Moross says “Old European cities have areas where children play in the dirt and sometimes discover things like a rhinestone, or piece of foil, a remanent of something years or maybe even centuries past. They were treasures I would gather that I discovered. Even though they were found in dirt, after cleaning and loving these things, bringing them to light, each would reveal beauty and stories again and again. So for me, Carmine initially was one of these precious beautiful found rhinestones.”

Carmine himself, above, in red.

She found her subject beautiful, and has created beautiful works about him. “Ultimately, it’s my decision what is beautiful or not.”

Trust us – she made a profoundly lovely choice, here.

Above, musicians Ketchup Soup, entertained the opening night crowd.

Above and below, center, MuzeuMM founder Mishelle Moross; with below left artist Francisco Alvarado.

MuzeuMM is located at 4817 West Adams Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90016

  • Genie Davis; all photos by Jack Burke
http://diversionsla.com/?p=3646

Lena Moross: For the Love of Carmine

Posted on June 4, 2016 by Diversions LA

Born in St. Petersberg, Russia, artist Lena Moross is a true force in the Los Angeles art scene. With the characteristic vibrance she shows in so much of her lush work, she’s tackling a trenchant subject: what being transgender really means. In her upcoming solo exhibition, For the Love of Carmine, opening June 11th at MuzeuMM, Moross creates a social narrative.

Her beautifully colorful, finely detailed, impressionistic watercolor work is used here to create an immersive experience of what it’s like to grow up as a transgender male in the early post-war years. Her large-scale paintings demand repeat viewings: the very feminine, voluptuous curves and her emphasis on fluid strokes and shapes create a richly fertile landscape to explore what it’s like to be a woman inside a man’s body. A staged video is also included in the exhibit, which creates a deep dialog between the subject of her works here, Carmine, and the artist herself, as an untold narrative spills forth.


Above, Carmine Messina with the artist, Lena Moross

The artist was captivated by the real Carmine Messina, whom she met on a Hollywood street corner three years ago. Tall, heavy-set, and middle-aged, Messina was heavily made up and dressed in a woman’s black coat, fishnet stockings, mid-calf boots and sporting a long, jet-black wig. Moross was struck by Carmine’s gentle demeanor and his obliviousness to the effect he was causing. The artist introduced herself and began a conversation that led to recorded conversations, videos, photographs, paintings, and sketches. Using these resources, she set about exploring, through her art, the ordeal of being transgender in the late 1940s, born into a middle class San Fernando Valley family.

Her revealing, sensual paintings tell a long hidden story, one that exposes and gently honors what had been concealed and riddled with shame. While social change is slowly creating a space for transgendered people, their long hidden stories can be difficult to reveal and depict. Moross tells Messina’s story with dignity, humor, and a translucent grace, qualities which are representative of all of Moross’ recent work.

Her pieces have a dream-like, almost floating quality, their fluid lines and the incorporation of floral images and colors making her work as intense as it is delicate.

In this exhibition, Messina, clad in a simple aqua smock, poses in feminine grace, shy and almost transcending his girth; or Moross positions him nude, with a jubilant, blooming bouquet of red roses masking his genitalia.

Whether raising a glass of ruby wine, reclining against the coiled cocoon of a red quilt, or performing opera in a yellow tunic, the figure that Moross captures is at once bulky and beautiful, poised and awkward, always fluid and feminine. She casts what it means to be a woman – that particular state of grace, longing, and sensuous shape, in a fresh light.

Moross fuses male and female, form and the softest of function. You can almost feel the draped cloths, smell and touch the soft rose petals. It’s no surprise the Moross is skilled at this kind of fusion. Moving from Russia to the U.S., she studied classical art at the State Academy of Art in Russia. In America, she studied at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design as a student of Peter Lyashkov, earned her master’s at Cal-Arts, and was a student of John Baldessari and John Borofsky.

Her fine art skills and her wonderfully interpretive, fantastical bent have meshed just as surely and resiliently as her international heritage has fused with a strong, brash sense of American freedom.

In For the Love of Carmine, Moross expresses freedom, repression, fantasy, joy, and a spirit that longs to break loose from its confines. A truly masterful solo show, by an artist who is taking flight with story and shape.

MuzeuMM
4817 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Opening reception June 11, 7-11pm

  • Genie Davis; Photos: Shoebox PR

http://diversionsla.com/?p=3631

 

FAREWELL: A WAKE FOR DECEASED FURNITURE Posted on 4/14/2015 11:05:06 PM by: Mishelle

Just a few days away and several items checked-off the to do list. I'm left with this - 1. Bucket 2. Shot glasses/plastic 3. Booze 4. What will my mother do with the couch I man handled from a craigslist ad 5. Price list 6. Gaudy dress for the show (that's for me personally). 7. Make business cards (also for me) 8. Music (ehh) 9. If you only knew… 10. Security T-shirt for my friend.

Amber and Elena are installing artwork as I type this - bringing the space to life so they, we, can have fun and get comfortable there, even for the innocent eye.

 

 

SURF THE ALLY! Posted on 1/9/2015 3:16:44 PM by: Mishelle

Amber Clark, a fellow foodie and close friend of Lena shared some photos she had taken of abandoned items; mostly couches. Lena fell in love with them and painted her own rendition of these beautifully composed photographs... 

This collaboration has formed and they call themselves "JEWBLUEWord got out that these two have something exciting brewing. I was fortunate enough to take a peek. It caught on quick…and Ramon Munoz, Professor at the Pasadena Art Center offered Spacehouse to house another show around March of 2015.

 

SERIES CALLED LOVE Posted on 4/21/2014 6:23:19 PM by: Mishelle

The schmaltz (although sincere): I know Lena's style all too well...but I think this series imprisons it all.  The aesthetic sensation from the figures, objects, colors, brush strokes, is perfectly balanced and unimposing. This huge beautiful artwork is created using watercolor. So one can't really make mistakes...yet, the intensity of these works suggest some other medium; oil or acrylic...while remaining poetic.  I'm beside myself. And yes. It is Love.

 

 

BLAST FROM THE PAST Posted on 7/10/2014 5:01:58 PM by: Mishelle

After the American Postcard series was displayed @Spacehouse at the end of 2013; I received many after-thoughts and perspectives from people regarding the Post-World War II period. After all, Lena, who came to the US in 1974 still experienced the aftermath that changed the face of the nation, relative to the actual  'American postcards' that she had in her hand before in Russia...

Well hello there Mr.Interstate-Highway-System (otherwise known as a Freeway). What a lovely pole ya got there! Demand for the telephone was so insistent that the Tel Bell System exploded with more workers; like hot blue-collar men workers. Support overflowed for suburban inflation and higher education.

These historical trends are reflected in Lena Moross' series titled 'American Postcard' 

You can see more on the following website: http://www.muzeumm.com

 

...and click here for some images from the "American Postcard" show;

...and reviews below:

  

  

 

  

 

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For the Love of Carmine (Lena Moross)

With offhand virtuosity, painter Lena Moross captures her intriguing muse. Preview

For the Love of Carmine

For the Love of Carmine, an ongoing series of portrayals, began when Lena Moross encountered her subject, Carmine Messina, in West Hollywood.

Carmine was publicly enacting his pathos with a grace and self-possession that captivated Moross, to the point where the artist resolved to capture the individual and his enactment as a work – or many works – of art. Moross’ style, with its animated line and vivid color, already finds heightened drama in the everyday; faced with a person whose very presence tells numerous stories, the painter set about depicting Carmine in various circumstances, staged and natural (although in Carmine’s case, a staged portrait is as natural as anything).

Moross’ depictions of Carmine comprise an unusual body of work within her oeuvre. She has worked in series before, and her vivid, highly graphic style might lend itself easily to serialization. On the other hand, by working so unusually – painting with watercolor across physical expanses as broad as those normally commanded by oils or acrylics – Moross encourages herself and her audience both to lose themselves in the picture, in its lusciousness and its delicacy, its movement and its poignancy. For the Love of Carmine

The striking originality of Moross’ approach draws attention to itself even while illumining the scenic drama of a cityscape or the choreography of humans doing daily tasks. With the works in the Love of Carmine series, however, Moross has put her skills and her vision at the service of their subject rather than the other way around. Moross is not just painting Carmine, she is painting about Carmine.

To a great extent, it is the vivacity of Carmine himself that steers the way she paints him. Being who he is – a person of mixed gender who long ago accepted the ambiguity of his inner situation and has since manifested it outwardly as needed – he lives a kind of theatre at the same time as he demonstrates personal contentment with his identity. Carmine’s is a compelling story, and it has a happy ending, making him a choice subject for a painter whose own style is filled with sunny colors and stark contrasts.
For the Love of Carmine

Moross thus treats Carmine as a kind of Buddha, a self-realized being whose peace seems at once hard won and casually worn. This is no more a political or social or psychological statement on the artist’s part than it is on the subject’s; in fact, the kinship they feel is that of individuals doing what they have to do and letting others worry about any perceived contradictions or dissonances. Can Carmine – and the numerous portraits Moross has painted of him – be held up as a role model for those coming to terms with their own intergender natures? Perhaps; but the role he models is one of dynamic, perhaps dramatic, equilibrium, a message not of militancy, but of mediation and, as Moross would have it, illumination.

Arguably, Lena Moross’ manner of painting is as syncretic – and, thus, idiosyncratic – as Carmine Messina’s lifestyle is. Certainly both are models of joyousness and are markedly free of confusion. The relationship they now maintain is based on mutual admiration, not exploitation, and their interaction yields the kind of empathetic energythat challenges notions of “otherness” by transcending them.

For the Love of Carmine

Moross may cultivate Carmine’s exotic aura in her portrayals; lord knows, she hasn’t gravitated to him because he’s boring. But that very sense of style, notable but not flamboyant, suits hers to a T. Moross’ paintings celebrate Carmine’s humanity; and his comfort in his skin reflects the offhand virtuosity of her painting.

This is a match made on earth.

Lena Moross’s solo show opens today, Saturday June 11th at MuzeuMM in Los Angeles.

 

http://diversionsla.com/?p=3900

Posted on June 21, 2016 by Diversions LA

For the Love of Carmine – Lena Moross at MuzeuMM

Above, opening night at MuzeuMM – For the Love of Carmine

We’ve written about Lena Moross’  before, the passionate artist originally from St. Petersberg who has brought classical training and an impressionistic style to her now very-LA work. Running through July 11 at MuzeuMM, Moross’ large scale watercolor portraits in “For the Love of Carmine,” details Carmine, a transgender man that the artist met 5 years ago on a Hollywood street.

Roses, wine, the delicate grace of an intensely female subject inside a bulky male body – these are the images Moross has captured with a magical bent. her paintings are sensuous, voluptuous, depicting a man/cocoon housing his female/butterfly.

Moross says “Old European cities have areas where children play in the dirt and sometimes discover things like a rhinestone, or piece of foil, a remanent of something years or maybe even centuries past. They were treasures I would gather that I discovered. Even though they were found in dirt, after cleaning and loving these things, bringing them to light, each would reveal beauty and stories again and again. So for me, Carmine initially was one of these precious beautiful found rhinestones.”

Carmine himself, above, in red.

She found her subject beautiful, and has created beautiful works about him. “Ultimately, it’s my decision what is beautiful or not.”

Trust us – she made a profoundly lovely choice, here.

Above, musicians Ketchup Soup, entertained the opening night crowd.

Above and below, center, MuzeuMM founder Mishelle Moross; with below left artist Francisco Alvarado.

MuzeuMM is located at 4817 West Adams Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90016

  • Genie Davis; all photos by Jack Burke
http://diversionsla.com/?p=3646

Lena Moross: For the Love of Carmine

Posted on June 4, 2016 by Diversions LA

Born in St. Petersberg, Russia, artist Lena Moross is a true force in the Los Angeles art scene. With the characteristic vibrance she shows in so much of her lush work, she’s tackling a trenchant subject: what being transgender really means. In her upcoming solo exhibition, For the Love of Carmine, opening June 11th at MuzeuMM, Moross creates a social narrative.

Her beautifully colorful, finely detailed, impressionistic watercolor work is used here to create an immersive experience of what it’s like to grow up as a transgender male in the early post-war years. Her large-scale paintings demand repeat viewings: the very feminine, voluptuous curves and her emphasis on fluid strokes and shapes create a richly fertile landscape to explore what it’s like to be a woman inside a man’s body. A staged video is also included in the exhibit, which creates a deep dialog between the subject of her works here, Carmine, and the artist herself, as an untold narrative spills forth.


Above, Carmine Messina with the artist, Lena Moross

The artist was captivated by the real Carmine Messina, whom she met on a Hollywood street corner three years ago. Tall, heavy-set, and middle-aged, Messina was heavily made up and dressed in a woman’s black coat, fishnet stockings, mid-calf boots and sporting a long, jet-black wig. Moross was struck by Carmine’s gentle demeanor and his obliviousness to the effect he was causing. The artist introduced herself and began a conversation that led to recorded conversations, videos, photographs, paintings, and sketches. Using these resources, she set about exploring, through her art, the ordeal of being transgender in the late 1940s, born into a middle class San Fernando Valley family.

Her revealing, sensual paintings tell a long hidden story, one that exposes and gently honors what had been concealed and riddled with shame. While social change is slowly creating a space for transgendered people, their long hidden stories can be difficult to reveal and depict. Moross tells Messina’s story with dignity, humor, and a translucent grace, qualities which are representative of all of Moross’ recent work.

Her pieces have a dream-like, almost floating quality, their fluid lines and the incorporation of floral images and colors making her work as intense as it is delicate.

In this exhibition, Messina, clad in a simple aqua smock, poses in feminine grace, shy and almost transcending his girth; or Moross positions him nude, with a jubilant, blooming bouquet of red roses masking his genitalia.

Whether raising a glass of ruby wine, reclining against the coiled cocoon of a red quilt, or performing opera in a yellow tunic, the figure that Moross captures is at once bulky and beautiful, poised and awkward, always fluid and feminine. She casts what it means to be a woman – that particular state of grace, longing, and sensuous shape, in a fresh light.

Moross fuses male and female, form and the softest of function. You can almost feel the draped cloths, smell and touch the soft rose petals. It’s no surprise the Moross is skilled at this kind of fusion. Moving from Russia to the U.S., she studied classical art at the State Academy of Art in Russia. In America, she studied at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design as a student of Peter Lyashkov, earned her master’s at Cal-Arts, and was a student of John Baldessari and John Borofsky.

Her fine art skills and her wonderfully interpretive, fantastical bent have meshed just as surely and resiliently as her international heritage has fused with a strong, brash sense of American freedom.

In For the Love of Carmine, Moross expresses freedom, repression, fantasy, joy, and a spirit that longs to break loose from its confines. A truly masterful solo show, by an artist who is taking flight with story and shape.

MuzeuMM
4817 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Opening reception June 11, 7-11pm

  • Genie Davis; Photos: Shoebox PR

http://diversionsla.com/?p=3631

 

FAREWELL: A WAKE FOR DECEASED FURNITURE Posted on 4/14/2015 11:05:06 PM by: Mishelle

Just a few days away and several items checked-off the to do list. I'm left with this - 1. Bucket 2. Shot glasses/plastic 3. Booze 4. What will my mother do with the couch I man handled from a craigslist ad 5. Price list 6. Gaudy dress for the show (that's for me personally). 7. Make business cards (also for me) 8. Music (ehh) 9. If you only knew… 10. Security T-shirt for my friend.

Amber and Elena are installing artwork as I type this - bringing the space to life so they, we, can have fun and get comfortable there, even for the innocent eye.

 

 

SURF THE ALLY! Posted on 1/9/2015 3:16:44 PM by: Mishelle

Amber Clark, a fellow foodie and close friend of Lena shared some photos she had taken of abandoned items; mostly couches. Lena fell in love with them and painted her own rendition of these beautifully composed photographs... 

This collaboration has formed and they call themselves "JEWBLUEWord got out that these two have something exciting brewing. I was fortunate enough to take a peek. It caught on quick…and Ramon Munoz, Professor at the Pasadena Art Center offered Spacehouse to house another show around March of 2015.

 

SERIES CALLED LOVE Posted on 4/21/2014 6:23:19 PM by: Mishelle

The schmaltz (although sincere): I know Lena's style all too well...but I think this series imprisons it all.  The aesthetic sensation from the figures, objects, colors, brush strokes, is perfectly balanced and unimposing. This huge beautiful artwork is created using watercolor. So one can't really make mistakes...yet, the intensity of these works suggest some other medium; oil or acrylic...while remaining poetic.  I'm beside myself. And yes. It is Love.

 

 

BLAST FROM THE PAST Posted on 7/10/2014 5:01:58 PM by: Mishelle

After the American Postcard series was displayed @Spacehouse at the end of 2013; I received many after-thoughts and perspectives from people regarding the Post-World War II period. After all, Lena, who came to the US in 1974 still experienced the aftermath that changed the face of the nation, relative to the actual  'American postcards' that she had in her hand before in Russia...

Well hello there Mr.Interstate-Highway-System (otherwise known as a Freeway). What a lovely pole ya got there! Demand for the telephone was so insistent that the Tel Bell System exploded with more workers; like hot blue-collar men workers. Support overflowed for suburban inflation and higher education.

These historical trends are reflected in Lena Moross' series titled 'American Postcard' 

You can see more on the following website: http://www.muzeumm.com

 

...and click here for some images from the "American Postcard" show;

...and reviews below:

  

  

 

  

 

Sections