Samantha Rosenwald

Region: Pacific Coast


City / State: Los Angeles, CA

Being a frizzy-haired, comically chubby chicken nugget born and raised in the glossy, chill-centric culture of Los Angeles has not only infiltrated my identity politics and spurred my fixation with female beauty expectations, but has also urged me to lean into my sense of humor as a mode of social survival. Comedy, strangeness, anxiety, and unnecessary overachievement define my work and my identity. If life is a Sisyphean quest for cultivated LA chillness, then the inevitable and cyclical downhill tumble is lonely, dissociative, and self-flagellating.

Formally, my work harnesses these neurotic and comic tendencies. The use of colored pencils, a modest and unsophisticated material associated with childhood, not only points to the dissonance between highbrow and lowbrow in my thinking and practice, but also echoes the labor of the obsessive overachiever. That anal girl, in her relentless perfectionism, appears to be fun, or at least socially compliant, but within her obsessive attempts at greatness, there is an innate glitch: a sinister disobedience or a rippling strangeness that is, in itself, radically unsettling.