JOSEPH ROSSANO, born to clinicians and research scientists, graduated from Louisiana State University as an artist. His path joined him, via mentorship, collaboration, and exhibition, with renowned artists and institutions including Dale Chihuly, Judy Pfaff, The Pilchuck Glass School, Waterford Crystal, Museum of Glass, the South Australia Museum, Google, and more. Integrating cutting edge technology and science with his art, Rossano engages and challenges the viewer to reflect upon humankind’s impact on our planet and its varied ecosystems. Much of his youth was spent exploring the North Shore of New York’s Long Island and hiking in the Catskill Mountains. These were formative years that evolved a life focused on creating environmental awareness through art.
Utilizing the spectacle of art to disarm an audience, Rossano opens that audience to truths about man and nature. On the surface, it appears as though he is manufacturing representational art; the reality is quite different. Butterflies made from fighter aircraft; whitewash and tar tell a story of human behavior refusing to disappear; and an 800-year-old tree serves as a historic reference to modern humanity, each realities employed by the artist.
Through the use of contextually significant materials, Rossano relates an environmental truth hidden in plain sight. Engaging in intensively researched life science theory, he curates a narrative of his own manufacture, exposing viewers to that hidden truth and the theory it supports. Through a mutual desire to protect the natural world, he enlists prominent life scientists to, together, lead viewers to poignant, of the moment theories, represented in three dimensions.
Until a recent shift in scale, the majority of his efforts reflected personal toil, crafted, conceived and researched by Rossano alone. Now, his large-scale installations in the homes of U.S. President’s, and more, expose ever larger audiences to the conceptual matrix surrounding his work and our world. These new works are created in association with other artists, corporations, and individuals, all willing to donate their time and materials to the causes he addresses and messages they deliver—a model of community collaborating for a cause.
The scientist, the environmentalist, and the conservationist constantly face the challenge of convincing an audience to care about their work, cause, etc. Rossano has chosen to make things that are about something bigger than ourselves, about individuals and creatures—whether they be human or other—that need our help.
Rossano now lives and works 65 miles north of Seattle, with his home and studio nestled in the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.