Daniela Rossell, Installation view, All the best names are taken, Greene Naftali, New York, 2000
The Greene Naftali Gallery will present the first solo show in New York by Daniela Rossell. The exhibition features new photographs from the two series "Ricas y famosas" and "Olympic lower". Daniela Rossell is a young artist from Mexico City who has recently moved to New York. Rossell's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout Mexico. Her work has appeared in group shows in the United States including "The Conceptual Trend: Six Artists from Mexico City" curated by Ruben Gallo and Terence Gower at the Museo del Barrio, New York and in exhibitions at Jock Tilton Gollery and ACME gallery in Los Angeles.
"Ricas y famosas" is a series of photographic portraits of Mexico City’s powerful nouveau riche class posed in the luxury of their domestic surroundings. Working with subjects who in many cases are family and friends and in most cases women, Rossell positions them in elaborately decorated environments surrounded by their own possessions. She spins conventions of photography including ethnography, society portraiture, and more contemporary practices which relate performance to photography. The images draw as much visually from pop culture (the films of Pedro Almodovar) as they do conceptually from art photography (the interiors of Louise Lawler). An absolutely glamorous sensibility collides head on with a criticality which deconstructs the visual signifiers of class, wealth and gender.
The subjects in these photographs include Paulina Dias Ordaz, the step daughter of Raul Salinas DeGortari who is the brother of Mexico’s notorious exiled president, Carlos Salinas and the real daughter of another former president of Mexico. She is shown wearing a Euro chic tennis outfit and rests her leg on the head of a stuffed lion. Emilio Salinas, the son of Carlos Salinas, stands in the trunk of an enormous tree framed by its twisted branches. Another subject, Michelle, sits in a Jacuzzi situated at the precipice of pimp's penthouse overlooking Mexico City.
The photographs from "Olympic Tower" are taken in an 80's style luxury building located on Fifth Avenue across the street from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. The compositions are as loaded in material, detail and color as they are in social content. Flowing velvet reds, cobalt blues, gold, jade, sky blue and ebony off mix in these pictures which include portraits of a step sister unwrapping gifts at Christmas, Anne DuBong, a block psychic who works for many of the building's residents, and Yana Avis (of the Avis rent-a-car family).