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Italian American Museum
Artiste Italiane
Women Artists of Italian Heritage

Artist: Martina Secondo Russo
Gina Lollobrigida A Fiascherino
Acrylic on masonite
20 x 16 in.

Martina Secondo Russo - Bio/Artist Statement:

Martina Secondo Russo was born in Genova, Italy but has lived in New York City since she was four years old.
Her artwork is inspired by horror, tattoos, toys, renaissance art, pin-up art, and the juxtaposition of beauty with the grotesque.
Martina received her BFA in Fine Art from The California Institute Of Art in 2002.
Since 2003, she has been the co-owner and curator of MF Gallery, an underground pop art gallery which also had a location in Genova, Italy from 2009 to 2014.

The "Bellezze Al Bagno" ("Bathing Beauties") series was produced entirely during the artist's stay in Genova in early 2012. Martina Secondo Russo paints pin up shots of Italian movie stars from the 1950's-70's such as Claudia Cardinale, Sofia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, and Ornella Muti, combining them with iconic locations such as the Lerici Castle, the town of Camogli and the typical Ligurian coastlines with it's stratified cliffs and maritime pine trees.
She uses images from her native region of Liguria, where she grew up going to the beach with her family- to create a nostalgic look into her own past. By using the pin up images, paired with a vintage inspired color scheme, she brings the viewer back to a more innocent time in film.
Two pieces from the "Bellezze Al Bagno" series were selected for this show:
"Claudia Cardinale Alla Venere Azzura" depicts a young Cardinale posing on the jetty of one of Martina's childhood beaches. The Medieval castle and town of Lerici are in the background. The Gulf Of La Spezia is known as "Il Golfo Dei Poeti" because several 19th century poets such as Shelley and Byron spent time living there, and were said to have written some of their best works during their stay.
"Gina Lollobrigida A Fiascherino" features Lollobrigida on another "Golfo Dei Poeti" beach. Fiascherino is a small beach accessible only by boat or by a long staircase down a rocky cliff and then a climb over treacherous coastline. The small beach is made up of pebbles and millions of tiny shells. As a girl, Martina used to collect these shells and string them into necklaces.

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