Artist Profile - Ariana Page Russell
Ariana Page Russell
Ariana Page Russell has sensitive skin that easily flushes. She also has dermatographia, a condition that allows her to draw temporary welts on her skin. Ariana is exploring this and other fleeting adornment as a fashion of skin, including the power of a blush—an uncontrollable response revealing internal sentiment. She has been exhibited at Magnan Projects, New York, NY; Gallery 4Culture, Platform, SOIL; and The Tahoe Gallery, Incline Village, NV. She received her BFA at the University of Nevada, Reno and her MFA at the University of Washington.
Ariana received 2008 GAP Award funding for materials related to her November show at Gallery 4Culture. Since her collaboration entitled Leather and Lace at SOIL with Allison Manch, Ariana has been exploring the potential of temporary tattoos as clothing. In her latest exhibition, she has cut out photographs of her skin into designs adapted from clothing and wallpaper, and transformed them into temporary tattoos that will be in turn attached to her body in her own line of “skin wear.”
As part of her Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Ariana gave a lecture titled “Thin Skin: Art of Dermatographia” to a group of professional dermatologists at the monthly meeting for the Seattle Dermatological Society at Virginia Mason Hospital. About five percent of the general population has dermatographia but many people don’t know that’s what causes their skin to flare up. The doctors were surprised by some of the email and blog responses that Ariana shared regarding her artwork, which incorporates her skin condition. They liked the variety of patterns Ariana draws on her skin and photographs, and loved the wallpaper she made. Peggy Weiss, of the Harborview Art Collection, arranged the talk.