Monday, April 7, 2008

Lily Russo - Mosaics Influenced by the Masters

Lily Russo

When it comes to mosaic art, Lily Russo runs a versatile one - woman show. She creates her work expressively, using modulated color progressions and variations in shapes and textures to create visual metaphors for complex ideas. Lily creates both fine art and commercial pieces for sale. She has a real knack for putting her own spin on master paintings, turning them into wonderlands of mosaic spirals and colors as in this rendition of Van Gogh's Starry Night.
Starry Night

When Van Gogh painted the original, he was attracted by the contrast between the starlight and the – violent, active light coming from the gas lamps that reflected on the river. Both in his painting and in Lily’s mosaic, the sky plays a central role.

Her treatment of “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt retains the original integrity of his best-known work while imparting a more contemporary exodus from the early 20th century Art Nouveau movement.
The Kiss
Klimt and his fellow painters focused on stylistic designs that were soft and curving. Lily worked magic in being able to create the soft, curving mood of the piece with the rigid tesserae.

Lily also paints. This is her interpretation of the women depicted in Klimpt's work:

Klimpt Women

Lily Russo has been making mosaics since she was a child. She began by using the scraps from her mother's stained glass window projects and over time, diversified and developed her skills to create these exquisite works of art:

Botticelli's Venus

Late Afternoon Tea


Fabric (painting)

She studied painting at the University of Illinois and graduated with a B.A. in International Studies, with a concentration on Human Rights in Latin America. She has recently returned from a trip to Ecuador where she used to live. She also lived in Australia. Both places influenced her skill and observations of intricate design and the rich color choices saturated in blues, yellows and reds.

You can see more of Lily Russo's work on her website HERE. Lilly is the former studio manager at Institute of Mosaic Art in Oakland.

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Stacy Alexander