My work centers the everyday, individuals’ un-theorized, taken-for-granted experiences and understandings of their worlds.
Individuals constitute themselves through their daily practices and routines; every day we make choices that shape who we are (and want to be) in the world, but these often remain out of our consciousness. We forget to notice that the food we eat for breakfast or the clothes we wear are not merely a matter of idiosyncratic taste. Rather, through these choices, we project ourselves onto the world, (re)producing appropriate social dispositions. We eat not as individuals with particular desires but as members of society who have learned what people like us enjoy; we shop as middle-class American women, or working-class American men, or working-class immigrant men, etc. My work foregrounds these seemingly thoughtless and individual, yet deeply meaningful, social practices. Intended as critical social commentary, it compels us to see our choices—not disparage them.
Printmaking is central to my material process, and my work is driven by a series of aesthetic and formal decisions that enforce the messages I strive to communicate. I create delicate contour line drawings and rich surface textures on very thin and translucent papers. Through these laborious processes and delicate materials, I create objects that are immediately attractive and ephemeral yet subtly distancing and weighted with commentary. I take the banal and make it precious and beautiful; it becomes an object of value to be placed in a gallery and is therefore, worthy of attention. The materials, drawn and printed elements, presentation and lighting, all used in careful balance, ultimately come together to create a body of work where beauty and irony function in unison.
Dora Lisa Rosenbaum is a Guatemala-born, Albany-raised, Monterey Bay-based artist who earned masters degrees in printmaking first at Libera Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma in Rome, and then at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her love for object-based installation shines through in her three picks for her most inspiring artists: Rachel Whiteread, Tara Donovan, and Cornelia Parker.