When I arrive at her studio, the upper floor rooms of a downtown New Haven office building, which she shares with her husband, the writer and filmmaker, Ace Fronton, MondoExpressionist Artist Elisa Vegliante is about to embark on a painting of a hot dog stand. It's one of a new series she's conjuring, her vision of the much-loved Americana that is the roadside fast-food stand. A courageous and perhaps characteristically contrarian move for an avowed vegetarian. As masochistic as this may appear to the rest of us, for Elisa it's another episode in the course of a career showing little fear of the conventions that dog many artists. Elisa Vegliante has learned to forget more than most artists will ever know.
Elswhere she has been described as an outsider artist, but its a label she prefers to refute, "Like so many other "catch-all" descriptors, "outsider art" it is a term which has lost all meaning." Elisa Says, "It's not that I refute the notion behind it, but everyone calls themselves an outsider (in itself a statistical impossibility), which is why I wanted to distinguish myself from that by creating my own style, and then "branding" it to better interest the marketplace."
Residency Elisa Vegliante, Mondo Expressionist, is the second of our Residency features, R2.
How it all works is, over the course of a month, a four week residency, we can get a little closer, add new questions and topics and issues as our readers respond to the artists, the bits of their lives we find out about, and their work.
As part of the Residency we offer exclusive, amazing stuff. This week, from Elisa Vegliante you can download free desktop pictures. Right-click on the appropriate link below. In coming weeks we'll will be offering Elisa's collection of Art Cards, 18 in all, individually framed, when we open the outsideleft Elisa Vegliante Art Shop...
And so, MondoExpressionism came to be. "Yes, Mondo Expressionism, the movement and the label, is my creation." She laughs, "Mondo is Italian for "The World". Thus, "Mondo-Expressionism" represents the world of my expression through art. So far, I am the sole MondoExpressionist, but I recently got a query from another artist who was moved by the paintings on the website. They said they were considering becoming a MondoExpressionist as well! So there might be two of us eventually."
She began her career as a printmaker, but quickly took up the brush... "I was doing mostly etching and woodcut, but it became too difficult a discipline to maintain because you need access to a print studio. Working full time it became too time consuming so I taught my self to paint. Painting is a quicker medium, which one can do in their home. I filter through so many ideas that I need a media that's quick enough to translate thoughts into symbols. Some have likened my paintings to the visual equivalent of "automatic writing". I also draw. I like ink-and-marker sketches, and also ink washes."
More recently, she has been involved in film-making, although she remains modest about her input, "My husband, Ace Fronton, and I have been making backyard movies for 13 years now. He is the genius in this field.I just help him. Our features include: Radio Frankenstein Meets Bloody Hitler, Atomic Brain Of Christ, Zuzu: Queen Of The Animals and Night of the Fools, which won the coveted "Spirit of Ed Wood" award at the Script-2-Screen FIlm festival in Tulsa Oklahoma."
They're working on a new DVD series called "Super Adventure Theater", starring Art Hag of the Undead, Gigi Ghoulee" (that's Elisa). "It's going to be an art homage to the old horror movie shows on TV, where I host an old horror film and paint a picture based while the film is showing. You will also see actual footage of me painting! As Ace says, it will be like "Bob Ross Meets Vampira"!
In the coming weeks, as this interview with Elisa unfolds, we will be offering Elisa's unique series of MondoExpressionist Art Trading Cards. 18 in all. However this week we are happy to offer free downloadable desktop pictures. Right click on the links below to save a file to your personal computer.
Next Week: Get the Art Cards from outsideleft and Get Elisa's Art from Ebay.
Visit Elisa's website: www.mondoexpressionism.com