This article was written by Junior Ava Fitzgerald.
Elle Bizzozero grew up watching their mother paint, draw, and sculpt, and believes she inherited their love for art from their mother. “My dad has no artistic bone in his body,” Bizzozero said laughing.
Bizzozero is a junior at U-32 in the Pilot Program. Every element of her paintings has meaning, from the clothing on the bodies of the people to the flowers in the background.
This art piece is titled When Life Gives You Lemons Commit Suicide In Surrealism, and is the first painting Bizzozero has done where they went into it without an initial plan. Bizzozero was inspired when a fellow Pilot student Agnes suggested, ‘when life gives you lemons.’
Bizzozero ran with the idea and decided to create this surrealist gore piece. “I started off with the idea when life gives you lemons, and then slowly produced this blood lake and then this dead human being, a giant woman, with the spine in the background and then the lemon eyes.”
This piece is a bas-relief sculpture, as well as painting. Bas-relief pieces are sculptures that create a transition between 2D and 3D artwork. The hand is 3D and there are stones sculpted at the bottom.
The piece has many layers of red shades, along with deeper darker colors like black. Bizzozero then added the yellow, and very limited white to brighten the piece without taking out the depth. “It was a strange contrast to work with because I almost always work with warm tones,” Bizzozero said.
This next piece titled The Queen is about Queen Elizabeth the First, and is a watercolor painting that works with neutral tones.
Bizzozero wanted to show the idea of womanhood and maturing into a woman, and what it symbolizes in our culture, through the way she depicted the queen. With a cut going down the face along with extremely distorted features to show the unrealistic beauty standards.
The whole piece represents how “the beauty of women should not be exploited for the validation of others,” Bizzozero explained. She said the painting is “a revenge piece, of just like, ‘I’m not gonna make myself pretty for you. I’m making myself pretty for me.’”
“Being a feminine-presenting human being, and specifically in the United States, it’s really dawned on me how much people expect from us in a very negative way,” Bizzozero said.
Bizzozero wanted her to have deep hollow eyes, that are looking two different ways to say, “I don’t want to look at you. So I’m gonna look this way and that way.”
“I sewed her lips shut specifically because people were like, ‘Oh, you’re too loud. You’re too opinionated. You’re too stubborn,’” Bizzozero said. “And a lot of people were like, ‘Yeah, that’s gross.’ I’m like, ‘I know. Isn’t she beautiful?’”
This piece has yet to be titled and is still in the process of being made.
This last painting originated from a fight Bizzozero had with their mother. “I had a very unhealthy relationship with her beforehand and the dynamic just got worse over the years,” she said.
“The white flowers, those are symbols of innocence, purity, they’re often used at children’s funerals, or when a child has passed, just you know, remembrance of a young one,” Bizzozero said. “The flowers that are going to be on her side are actually aconite. It symbolizes being cautious: ‘Be aware this is dangerous.’” Aconite flowers contain poisonous toxins.
The painting is nowhere near done, and Bizzozero has big plans for it. There will be twelve eyes to resemble immediate family, each with their own insects and parasites to symbolize their stance in the situation, along with two full body portraits: one of Elle’s child self, and one of their mother. “Both faces are actually going to be scratched out,” they said, “just kind of like a symbolism of I don’t remember my childhood.”
Bizzozero dives into researching every aspect they are including in their art. Everything must have a deeper meaning, she said, “but I feel like some people can connect with it and see the concepts of what’s there and some people aren’t going to, and I think that really has some standing for it.”