On the Cover: Carol Rizzo | Visual Art | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
Pin It

On the Cover: Carol Rizzo 

Portrait of an Easter Bunny, Carol Rizzo, colored pencil on paper, 8½” x 11½”, 2011.
  • Portrait of an Easter Bunny, Carol Rizzo, colored pencil on paper, 8½” x 11½”, 2011.

The green eyes of the manly rabbit on April’s cover twinkle mischievously, as if he’s about to boldly take a bite of a stolen carrot. His perfectly manicured curled hair complements his collared shirt and vest. Odd, considering he’s a rabbit.

The rabbit, in addition to tailored clothes, clutches his carrot with hands, not furry rabbit feet. This combination of human and animal characteristics is a technique Carol Rizzo uses in much of her work. “I’m drawn to the mixture of humans and animals, I love using character faces and concepts. I’m able to get across more stories that way, by mixing symbols and faces,” Rizzo explains.

As a child, Rizzo’s father introduced her to the world of film, some of whose characters are still noticeably influencing her work. “When I drew this I had Harvey in mind,” says Rizzo, referencing the Jimmy Stewart comedy about a man whose best friend is an imaginary six-foot tall rabbit who wears a bow-tie and belt. Another big influence for Rizzo was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. “I have two copies with the original artwork, and a lot of the work in the book deals with human faces paired with animal bodies,” she says.

Though much of her work is rooted in a playful, fantasy-like style, she also ventures into social and cultural commentary. Rizzo uses the same style of personifying animals and inanimate objects to illustrate issues like in-school condom distribution, foreclosure, and debt. In Foreclosure, Rizzo creates what looks like a flyer that reads “Foreclose.” In the center, an incredibly detailed human face stares piercingly and sadly at the viewer as a tear drops from the corner of an eye. The piece is packed with telling details like keyhole shaped mouth to the home, a child peering out an upper window, and an adult standing in the doorway holding a paper, with the posture of defeat.

For as imaginative as her work can be, when it comes to execution, Rizzo gets serious. All of the lines and edges in Rizzo’s work have an exactness that come from working exclusively with colored pencils. “Over the years I’ve been able to get the pencil to do what I want. I love the preciseness of a sharp pencil,” she says. Portfolio: www.carolrizzo.com.
Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Reel Exposure International Teen Film and Photo Festival @ The Art Effect

Reel Exposure International Teen Film and Photo Festival

May 29-31, 7 p.m. — Now a FREE 3-Day festival! May 29 – 31, 2020 with a...

View all of today's events

Chronogram on Instagram

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • When Will the Libraries Reopen?
  • When Will the Libraries Reopen?

    The Conflicting Guidance on Reopening Libraries in NYS
    • May 30, 2020
  • What to Expect from Craft Beverage Festivals this Summer
  • What to Expect from Craft Beverage Festivals this Summer

    Even as things begin to return to normal post pandemic peak, this summer's craft beverage festivals in the Hudson Valley will look very different than past years, if they are event happening at all. While the most conservative organizers have straight up cancelled their events, some are taking their festivals online, and yet others are hoping increased safety precautions will make an in-person event viable.
    • May 29, 2020
  • Five New Online Hudson Valley Happenings
  • Five New Online Hudson Valley Happenings

    Music, theater, classes—and Opus 40 is open for socially distant visits.
    • May 27, 2020
  • More »