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 Mark Rossi  (1952 - )

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Lived/Active: Arizona/Oklahoma      Known for: nature theme sculpture

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Grooming Jackrabbit
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Living in the Arizona desert at the base of the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Mark Rossi finds plenty of subject matter for his wildlife sculpture. He learned to love the land from his Spanish-New Mexican mother of the Apache Pueblo. His father, Paul Rossi, an artist and former director of the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, inspired him because Mark grew up watching him sculpt and work in his studio.

Biography from Mark Sublette Modern:
Wildlife sculptor Mark Rossi was born in Denver, Colorado, but the family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma where Mark's father was director of the Gilcrease Museum, a collection of Indian and western art and artifacts. Mark's love for the Southwest was nurtured by his mother's Apache, Pueblo, and Spanish New Mexican heritage. As a result of his parents' influence, love for nature and art were instilled at an early age. As a child, he observed his father in his studio and foundry. So between his father's work and all of the influences which the Gilcrease gave to him, it would have been difficult to escape the force of art.

He went on to study fine art at the University of Tulsa and the University of Arizona. Living for many years at the base of the Catalina Mountains in Tucson, Rossi has had ample opportunity through hiking and horseback riding to study at close range the wide variety of flora and fauna that abound on the desert and in the foothills. The result is a sculpture which is basically realistic, but in his own words, "I'm not interested in sculpting copies of nature. I've become more relaxed and learned to let the materials show me what they can do. I want the form to emerge from the clay and metal. Cast bronze is an extremely plastic and durable medium to work with."

The surfaces of Rossi's bronzes are highly textural--there to see are the details made by hands and tools. While all of the animals of the desert fascinate him, it is perhaps the jackrabbit which most fascinates him and has become the subject of a number of his sculptures including a trio of them ranging in height from eight to fourteen feet which are a part of public sculpture in the Phoenix area. Ironically he doesn't consider himself a wildlife artist, "but I guess you could put that tag on me. I have a knack for animals, and people like them."

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