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Madelyn Rotella



Saccharine is a portal into a speculative world. This series of work is situated within a complex narrative, with paintings acting as avatars and gatekeepers to an interior cognitive world. Saccharine accompanies an epyllion, this is a written account of the story before them. For this series, I delved into narrative psychology and the act of visual storytelling. I question the ways in which I make sense and meaning of the world, as well as myself. In Saccharine, I wanted to elicit a story of my own consciousness; my own personal mythology. I identify personal mythology as memorable human experiences that help form personal myths, fulfilling on a personal level functions that cultural myths have historically performed for entire societies. I used Stephen Larsen’s “The Mythic Imagination” as a point of research to embark upon the act of conscious mythmaking and unearthing my own personal mythology. In Saccharine, I am relating to the archetypal form of the fool in a creative dialogue. The clown is a figure that represents the Jungian concept of the shadow. Saccharine is the grotesque, desperate, and longing aspect of my personal life, unveiled for all to see. Saccharine the clown is inspired by a method of clowning performed by Richard Pochinko. Pochinko’s method uses clowning as a reverse form of therapy in which you pool your innermost anxieties and insecurities into a figure. For me, that figure is Saccharine.  I’ve channeled my obsessive tendencies, anxieties about worth, perception, and performance into a singular character. Killing Saccharine is an act of catharsis. In conscious mythmaking, I am tracing back a destructive personal myth and exorcising it by creating a new ending.


Left and Right Side Images:

Here, In the Garden, Ink acrylic, spray paint on plywood, 2021, diptych, each 47 x 23 inches, $600

Middle Image:

Swine, Digital multimedia, 2021

VCR Artist Talk: Madelyn Rotella

Madelyn - Q&A.jpg
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