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

On the Cover: Carol Rizzo 

click to enlarge 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.

Speaking of...

  • On the Cover: Christopher Kurtz
  • On the Cover: Christopher Kurtz

    Kingston-based artist and furniture craftsman Christopher Kurtz's Untitled (Fallen Star).
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Emily Isabella Art Opening at Brunette
  • Emily Isabella Art Opening at Brunette

    "Chairs: New Works by Emily Isabella," running through November 20, opens November 5 at Brunette Wine Bar in Kingston.
    • Nov 3, 2016
  • On the Cover: Thomas Ruff
  • On the Cover: Thomas Ruff

    If you've stared at this month's cover shot and questioned your fourth-grade planet-naming abilities, don't. You were right—it is Saturn.
    • Apr 1, 2016
  • More »
Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Hudson Valley Events

submit event

Group Holiday Sale

Sat., Nov. 18, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. — 23 artisans of fine craft. In our 40th year. We have been...

Correspondences: Between Human and Other Natural Forms

Nov. 8-Dec. 3 — Photos by Marcia Slatkin....

View all of today's events

Latest in Visual Art

Related to Visual Art

More by Samantha Minasi

  • While You Were Sleeping: June 2011

    Poultry farmers hit especially hard by tornadoes, oil companies making record profits—and receiving record tax breaks, nonprofits under attack, the Amazon is in danger, and more.
    • Jun 1, 2011
  • On the Cover: Adie Russell

    Stone Ridge-based artist Adie Russell talks about the most extreme perfect that exists.
    • Jun 1, 2011
  • Food & Drink Events for May

    Beer and cheese pairings, Butchery 101 classes, a Greater Taste of Newburgh, and more.
    • May 1, 2011
  • More »

Hudson Valley Tweets