Annie Rochelle is a practicing artist working and living in her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. Rochelle received a Bachelors of Fine Art in Painting and Art History at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland and studied Italian Renaissance Art History and Painting Conservation at the Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy. Her artistic interests are divided: between draftsmanship and experimental abstraction; the challenging marriage of Old Masters’ techniques and traditional subject matter with contemporary aesthetics and social sensibilities. Her new interest in botanical forms have opened a new investigation into the relationships among human, artificial, and natural aesthetics.
In various different iterations through out my artistic career, one theme underlies the body of my work as the driving force (whether I realize it or not): duality of meaning and image.
The most obvious representation of this theme are in the artworks Look/Look Away and Take/ Take, literal double portraits inspired by the anamorphic technique utilized in the painting, 'The French Ambassadors' by Northern Renaissance painter, Hans Holbein. These paintings take on opposing narratives depending on the approach of the viewer; right to left: an acknowledgment, an arrival; left to right, a dismissal, a departure. Double-thinking is also investigated in the time-based thaumatrope series as represented by the piece 'Leda in Her Old Age'. An early toy precursor to animation, the thaumatrope is a double-sided disk with a separate image on each side, when twinned spun a composite image emerges. In this case, two points of view combine to represent one shared narrative, a nostalgic nod to the more contemporary representation of the ephemeral moment, the gif. 'Leda in Her Old Age' in particular exemplifies an interest in a second duality, the relationship between the past and present.
While 'Leda in Her Old Age' cheekily imagines the life of a nymph grown old and mundane, the works of 'Mythos/Dogma' takes this theme further. In this series, I drew comparison between representations of narcissism, debauchery, fetish and vice in mythology versus today's age of the internet, Uber and the self-stick. I consider the relevance of the myth of Lady Godiva in today’s environment of institutionalized debt and flourishing pay-day loans businesses and give the Virgin a choice in the Annunciation. In 'Modern Flora', this tongue-in-cheek irreverence is translated into the language of flowers, where bouquets memorialize sentiments beyond the passé.
In this style I employ a third duality: the coupling of classical beauty with the mundane, fractured, flippant or dissonant. I include in this . portfolio the commissioned works on pianos not only to demonstrate technical versatility, but the nature of my relationship with the past, how historical research influences on my personal work. In the painting 'Chance Configuration of Figure and Shape ('Happy Birthday!')' , a portrait is interrupted by chance, the composition dictated by the roll of the dice. 'Look/Look Away' and 'Take/Take' also demonstrate this stylistic duality being simultaneously painted with sensitivity and subtlety, but constructed with a violent geometry. My work is characterized by this love/hate relationship with the canon, subversion in style, beatific and irreverent in equal parts.