Edward del Rosario was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He was pushed down a flight of stairs when he was two years old. He is a middle child and also an air sign. He received his BFA in Painting from the University of Kansas and his MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally and his paintings belong to several prominent collections, but not the Museum of Modern Art yet. His illustrations have appeared in many publications including The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New York Times, and Le Monde. He lives and works in Saint Louis, Missouri.
“I have been using painting to explore a narrative that deals with power struggles in the aftermath of a post post-colonial world. My paintings, oil on linen, consist of finely detailed figures in colorful costumes staged on flat color or minimalist backgrounds. The paintings are either miniature portraits or characters engaged in larger dramatic scenes drawn from the narrative. The characters exist in an austere, allegorical world where identity and tradition, belief and myth all intersect to redefine and recreate meaning.
Craft is as important to me as content. I apply equal attention to the detail and crafting of the painting as I do with the creation and exploration of the narrative. My paintings are executed using traditional methods. I begin with a intricate line drawing which is then hand copied and developed as an under-painting on a prepared surface. The surface has been meticulously primed with 8 coats of oil ground and sanded until glass smooth. Several layers of transparent color glazes are then applied to the under-painting, slowly building up opaque color. In order to maintain a pristine surface, each layer must be completely dry and lightly sanded before the next layer can be applied. I believe that the laborious physical process of creating my paintings, from drawing to finished work, complements the complexity and significance of the narrative.”