“My paintings are a part of letting the world pass through me and onto the canvas. The process changes slightly with new technologies but has stayed the same for nearly 30 years, involving layering of unfocused abstract imagery, textures or following the light in my studio, removal, sealing it with wax or in recent work leaving the images exposed. During 2021, I had the luxury of time to spend on the new series of mid-sized works deeply layered with water-based oils, traditional oils, wax mediums, house paint, and spray paint. The paintings are on linen along with 3 additional grid based painted series on smaller canvases. They say everything and nothing at all."
Donna Rae Kessinger, a working Artist and Curator based in the New York Metro Area,encourages collaboration between her emerging artists and their communities.Kessinger’s focus is mainly on projects that result in a marriage of art and commerce in the form of possible interventions, performative works, and public art projects which also can be seamlessly executed into traditional gallery exhibitions. Early in her career Donna Rae was mentored by Marsha Tucker,Alanna Heiss, Jenny Dixon and Kate Millett. She is deeply familiar with operations relating to Womyn’s Artist Colonies ranging all the way from top tier to smaller museums, traditional galleries and Alternative Art Spaces.
Her feminist media based video artwork, has been cloned and archived on Rhizome’s Artbase atthe New Museum. Her work is live on http://artfem.tv/documentary/ and has been screened at the Jersey City Museum of Art. Kessinger’s art which was created for the 1996 REPOhistory Entering Buttermilk Bottom Project, is archived by NYU Fales Library and Special Collections. Since the late 80’s her paintings have been collected by curators, other artists and writers.
Donna Rae’s paintings represent the ‘mental space’ as it travels somewhere between dreams and memories while easily flowing into forgetfulness and beyond. Her chunky surfaces are built up slowly, removed bit by bit and manipulated over and over,again and again. In doing so, her process becomes a meditation with no direction in mind. To achieve this work, she uses traditional and water based oil paints, liquitex spray paint, house paint, household items as stencils and wax mediums on linen and canvas board.