Artist of the Week: Anna Prezioso

            Each artist draws inspiration from unique personal sources. Those inspirations can reveal a narrative, a hidden bit of insight into the lives of each artist. Anna Prezioso, an MFA student at American University, creates art that evoke emotional reactions, allowing the viewer to be engulfed by the emotions that inspired her work, and this connects viewer to artist.

             Walking into Anna’s studio space the color red wraps around the wall pulling the eye through the space, causing the viewer to examine each piece. Her artwork ranges from drawing, painting, photography, audio and 3D installations. Welcoming me into her studio, I began to see a new side of Anna, the artwork became a window into the depth and range of emotions that she carries.

            I started my meeting with Anna by asking when she first realized her desire to study art. She began to tell me how her love for art has been a theme throughout her entire life. “I always have had art in my life, as far back as pre-school I’d always start drawing even if I didn’t have paper, I’d draw on a wall, I investigating spaces and found inspiration.”

            Anna got her bachelors at Mary Washington, however originally she was studying to obtain a teachers certificate, by her senior year she realized that she was passionate about art and needed to change her major. Then, two years ago she moved to D.C. where she began working towards her MFA. During grad school, she has focused on using materials and studying subjects that initially evoke a feeling of discomfort.

            “Why use red?” I asked.

            Anna kind of laughed as she looked at all the shade of red that create a strict contrast against the white walls and concrete floor. “Actually, I really don’t like the color.” She told me. “I rarely wear it, I am not comfortable using it. So, that’s why I started working with it.” There is a draw to the color in her work. Anna proceeds by saying “I am very fascinated about how red can symbolize opposites, love and hate.” She pointed to a one of her drawings, “The spiders are the same to me, I hate spiders.” She almost cringes as she says this.

Then, she gestures to her recent work with fashion. “I started working with jeans because they are generally well liked and everyone has them, but they always make me feel so constricted and uncomfortable.” Using recycled jeans, Anna is designing a series of vest. “I am making vest because they are protective, yet they could not stop a bullet, there is still a vulnerability, and then I have begun to explore the idea of when does protecting yourself become a burden and prohibit you from living and interacting with others?” She points to a dramatic vest over weighted with jeans and red thread. I realized that by using the color red, drawing spiders, and recycling jeans Anna has found comfort amongst the discomfort, her art balances opposing forces and unites them in one elegant piece.

On April 25 from 6-9 Anna will have her art displayed in a show Crossing the Bifrost at Katzen Art Center, for more information and to see Anna’s art click here.

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