Enjoy this appealing, quirky portfolio from the brush of featured artist Marcella Lassen, and visit her website for more information.
My evolution as an artist began very early: a huge box of kindergarten drawings proves a keen interest as soon as I could hold a pencil. At age 12 I decided there was nothing else I would rather do and a National Art Award in high school confirmed this endeavor.
I was born and grew up in Los Angeles; however being a first generation American (my parents are Dutch and German immigrants) I gravitated back to Europe and attended the Vienna University of Applied and Contemporary Art. Later on I moved to Brussels, Belgium and went through a second course of seven years of study at the Art Academy there, finishing with a Diploma in Monumental Painting.
Painting has always been my art form. In 2005 I returned to painting in oil and have since made it my exclusive medium. During this time the subject matter of my work focused more intensely on icons and the study of how contemporary icons, be they people, concepts or things, reflect our current global society.
My work is definitely grounded in pop art, inasmuch as subject matter and stylistic elements can be traced directly to this movement.
I like working in series to be able to examine one particular subject aspect in depth. More recent series’ titles include “Duos”, which looks at contemporary international artists who have achieved icon status, and are combined with people who are striving for the same status in a different context. The bottom denominator remains the same: becoming famous and in extenuation, becoming rich. Ten paintings belong to this series.
Another series takes up the theme of “Torsos”, a classical art genre rooted in the study of anatomy and the nude body. I have approached the subject by re-defining it in a contemporary context and the motifs address iconic people (e.g.the fashion designer Alexander McQueen or Sarah Palin) as well as lifestyle icons (e.g. tattoos or cigarette smoking in the 60’s). Twelve works belong to this series.
In previous paintings I have often included an image of a hamburger incorporated somewhere within the depicted scene. This is a reference to the concept of the “attribute” common in Medieval Art, in which known symbols are used to help the illiterate to “read” the painting. The hamburger is one of the first global products and an icon in itself, especially revered by such pop artists as Warhol or Claes Oldenburg. Therefore I have used it as an attribute to underline the status of the depicted people or things in my paintings.
My inspiration comes from all media sources. An artist’s tools equally include eyes and hands—and to be able to use your hands you first have to open your eyes.
I live and work in Switzerland, with my studio close to beautiful Lake Constance.