Marisa Sottos ICP-Bard MFA Solo Thesis Exhibition “Exalting the Voice”

Please join Marisa Sottos for the opening of her ICP-Bard MFA these exhibition, Exalting the Voice

Opening reception  Thursday, May 7th, 6-10pm

Performance at 7pm

Gallery Open May 7-10, 2015 | 11-6 PM | Friday through Sunday or by appointment

At her opening for “Exalting the Voice” Marisa Sottos (Nutley, New Jersey) will perform three arias she has selected: Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini, Don Giovanni by Amadeus Mozart and Carmen by George Bizet.

I chose these three songs specifically because they all have a kind of stereotypical portrait of women in opera. Using opera is a new thing in my work, because I feel the same kind of conflicting emotions that I feel with a lot of the other work, in other things that I am addressing.

Niagara Falls Suspended, 2015. Marisa Sottos
Niagara Falls Suspended, 2015. Marisa Sottos

The show is about my conflicting emotions and indecision regarding what is the right or wrong idea to be presented. A lot of people think you have to take a side with things, but I think there is a nice place that you can be by not picking a side. Then you can imagine yourself on either side and make more educated decisions or opinions.

What moves me about art is the sense of being heard. That’s where the songs and the singing and the vocals tie in. I want to give a nice listening experience. I still get super nervous singing in front of the people, but being able to perform for everybody is such a freeing experience.

Romeo & Juliet in a Laundry Room, 2014. Marisa Sottos
Romeo & Juliet in a Laundry Room, 2014. Marisa Sottos

In “Exalting the Voice” Marisa is presenting videos, photographs and photobooks that create a dialogue with one other. Part of my process when I am in between making things, I go to antique stores or antique centers and just look at things. When I am inspired or attracted to an a object, if it is affordable I buy it and I make something with it or I get inspired to make something. That’s how my video ‘Untitled, Love in Every Room’ came to be. 

Untitled, Paramount Pictures, 2015
Untitled, Paramount Pictures, 2015. Marisa Sottos

I get most of my influences from my family members and my living environment. I reference a lot of music and art as well as experiences that I had when I was younger.

Marisa received her BA in Art concentrating in photography from Monmouth University. She has been doing art her entire life, mostly drawing and painting. In high school she picked up a camera for the first time: I used to go to concerts all the time with my friends and take pictures of us.

In college I started to learn about studio lighting. I was influenced by Cindy Sherman and Gregory Crewdson, in the way they use lighting and staging. I never thought about staging things before. And I fell in love with color film, I think mostly because I interned with Jen Davis before I got accepted into the program at ICP-Bard.

Untitled, Joshua Tree Desert, 2015
Untitled, Joshua Tree Desert, 2015. Marisa Sottos

ICP totally changed my life. Before ICP, I set these boundaries for myself to make sure that everything followed strict guidelines. Here at ICP we are encouraged to just be free, and make whatever you want. It  was really a great time for me to just explore and do whatever I wanted.

Coming here was scary but also very good. My classmates and faculty share things that can help you to imagine things differently or think about your work differently. Art has become a way for me to share thoughts but not a necessarily a message. I want people to think about how things are and gain something from it.

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