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Lori Larusso

2019 State Fellow

Lori Larusso

Recipient Information


Lexington, Kentucky



Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Southern Prize and State Fellowship

Grant Amount


Artist Bio

Lexington, Ky., painter Lori Larusso (b. 1980, Massillon, Ohio) has shown in close to 100 exhibitions, including some two-dozen solo exhibitions, in more than 20 states, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. Her solo exhibitions include those at Skidmore Contemporary in Santa Monica, Calif.; Jordan Faye Contemporary in Baltimore, Md.; Porter Contemporary in New York City; the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, N.D.; the Indianapolis (Ind.) Art Center; the Dayton (Ohio) Visual Arts Center; the McColl Center for Art + Innovation in Charlotte, N.C.; and the Appalachian Center for Craft at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville. Larusso holds an MFA in studio art from the Interdisciplinary Studies program at the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BFA from the University of Cincinnati. Her residencies include those at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H.; the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts in New Berlin, N.Y.; and the James Rosenquist Artist Residency in Fargo.

Artist Statement

This developing series is a visual exploration of bourgeois domestic activity as fantasy, remote from individualized experience and presented as fanciful and comprehensively satisfying to those who partake in it. From ladies’ magazines produced midcentury to contemporary mommy blogs and curated Instagram posts celebrating perfection, our lives are inundated with a combination of flawless images, staged and filtered. Tying generic Americana imagery, disrupted by minor disaster, to language around (mostly non-violent) protest re-contextualizes the power dynamic, suggesting underlying acts of resistance against dominant hegemonies could be an option to demonstrate objection. I am, in part, searching for the tipping point. When does one decide to alter their systems of belief, behavior, and take action? Is a revolution necessary, or can we incite positive change in our lives by individual acts of resistance? And what does resistance look like?

These paintings are representational, realistic in scale, but they never cease to be what they are: two-dimensional images. They announce the inability of the viewer alone to alter the reality presented to them; instead, the systemic factors that prescribe and maintain current power relationships need to be overturned, which requires broader action. This work engages the spaces between personal and commercial exploits by borrowing imagery from advertising (print and digital), Google images, photographs and social media.

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