Rose DeSiano’s work is largely concerned with the photographic collective consciousness, the sociological ramifications of image manipulation, and the long, tangled history of the photograph as both a record keeper and myth maker.
She uses alternative photographic processes and the visual allure of the digitally fragmented and manipulated photograph as tools to examine cultural symbolism. DeSiano’s photographic practice has always been devoted to seeking out and recording moments when archetypes appear in real life.
She scours cities, towns, and landscapes documenting illustrative moments that seem to typify cultural ideologies, building a giant personal archive of images. Back in her studio, she splinters, splices, and reorganizes them into seemingly realistic singular compositions. Looking closely at historical paintings and early photography, she then digitally constructs her own elaborate tableaus which possess distorted depth, scale, and perspective. The final works visually bring into question our culture’s collective assumptions, expectations, beliefs, and moral attitudes.
Recently, DeSiano has been intrigued by the subculture of war re-enactments, and has spent the last three years dressing up as a WWII war correspondent crawling in the mud and photographing re-enacted WWII battles all across the United States. In 2015, she received a Pennsylvania state PASSHE research grant that will allow her continue this body of artwork internationally.
Rose has exhibited across the United States as well as internationally, including in the Netherlands, China, Italy, and Spain. Her work has been included in exhibitions organized by influential contemporary curators such as Nathan Trotman, Associate Curator at the Guggenheim Museum, and Lilly Wei of Art In America. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including The New Photo Review and UK’s Aesthetica magazine. In 2014, she was a finalist for the Julia Margaret Cameron Award, an international award for women in photography.
When not in the ‘staged trenches,’ DeSiano writes and presents on a variety of photographic topics: dealing with image manipulation, the collective consciousness, and the long, tangled history of the photograph as both a truth teller and myth maker. She has published essays on “The Cultural Perceptions of Landscape in Photography” and “Digital Constructs and the Photograph as Cultural Space” and most-recently “Seeing Truth and Purity Again: through digital manipulation in documentary photography.”
Rose DeSiano lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works in Pennsylvania as an Associate Professor of Photography at Kutztown University.