This work is depicting the Russian heritage of the artist, through the modern recreation of iconographic work that was refurbished by her maternal grandmother during the childhood of the artist. The work seeks influence from the contemporary American media portrayal of women, sexual objectification in order to create an historical lineages of the progression of perception of women, specific to the subject of the reproductive organs as symbols of power, the breast as a nurturing component, and the value of breastfeeding for nutrition and comfort.
The artist is a member of the LGBTQ and strives to illustrate the trauma of contemporary life on the female anatomy throughout the lifespan. Through the use of wood grain, textures, and layers the artist invites the viewer to experience the weight, wear and the passage of time, as it is worn and juxtaposed with her beautiful subjects.
The artist grapples with ideas of parenting; as she is the fourth generation of single mother in her family. Throughout her ideals of natural and attachment parenting style, she has encountered multiple conflicts with observers while breastfeeding in public, before protective laws were passed. The artist considers herself to be a feminist, and in many ways traditional, yet within the context of contemporary social construct, has been viewed as a revolutionary. While her children were very young she started them on solid food by chewing it herself, and then feeding it to her four month old infant. This method was not well-received by observers in restaurants, and she was asked to refrain or leave establishments for this practice, as well as told that she is welcome to breastfeed in the lavatory. The overall vision of the artist is to display the natural state of existence of womyn, the mother and child, and to make holy the couple by remembrance of the classical Madonna and child. Through the addition of exposed breasts and the illustration of animal features to this image, the artist portrays the classical coupling of the mother and child as a primitive duo, seeking to nurture in the contemporary social context of the corporate, and the concrete world in which she finds herself. The artist expects to normalize these ideals through the work. This work is a progression from the artist’s original workings of rotund women and the fertility goddesses of ancient matriarchal societies. This work fits into contemporary art, often reflecting contemporary vagina art, pornography, and seeks to change perceptions of women within contemporary social constructs built by the mainstream media. This work challenges the historical depiction of womyn as nurturers. This work fits into the whole of the artist’s creations, as she continues to handle the female form in historically beautiful positions, but not contemporary ideals of beauty. The flattening of the head, which is portrayed as mask-like is notable in that the classical Russian icons were created in a flat style. This artist believes that a finished work ought to hold characteristics of the process of creation, as well as the products intended for the viewer.
Through this work, the artist hopes to capture the beauty of infant nurturing, and the breast as a symbol of the goddess, or holy women, rather than an objectified sexual organ. The artists’ intention is normalize the images of female genitalia, and the ideas of natural, mother-child connectedness in it’s most primitive form.
Nicole Aullicino is an Ulster County resident, and currently works out of her home-studio on Abeel Street. Nicole studied art at SUNY New Paltz, Rockland, and Empire. She began publicly display art at the Bistro, New Paltz, in 1993, and has shown work at Varga Gallery, Woodstock and Far Fetched Gallery in Kingston She has been involved in the performing artist, and has worked at local sound stage venues with Taconic Records, and Metro Sound, Nicole offers an array of talents to the community, including song-writing, and has performed original music both independently, as well as with a band. She made her first recording in 2004. Nicole has volunteered at music festivals including Clearwater and Falcon Ridge. She has volunteered her skills with Free Style Frollic for over 25 years, as well as local theater, and art galleries.
Nicole works in a variety of mediums. She utilizes oil, water color, and acrylic paints, collage, and plaster sculpture to create portraits, masks, body castes, and images of the human form. She designs restorative furniture motifs.
Nicole has brought her skills to many populations in the community. She operated a child car facility in her home, where she explored color, paper, and objects with children ages 9 months, to 7 years. She has shown and sold her work in Rockland, and Ulster Counties. Nicole was employed as a recreation specialist for agencies serving developmentally disables adults. Nicole was employed as an artist’s model for over a decade with the New Paltz Guild, Woodstock photography, and private local artists.
Nicole also received a Master’s degree in Social Work from Adelphi University, and incorporates her creative talents with her clinical expertise in order to merge the therapeutic with the creative process. Nicole specializes in facilitating corrective experiences thought expression, and shared experience in both individual and small female group forums. Nicole utilizes mark-making and Zen tangle practices, plaster masks and body casting to reduce stress, and correct body image perception discord. Nicole facilitates healing of loss and trauma during pregnancy though plaster body casting, and life-size body contour process. Nicole utilized meditative art forms, and self-portraits with substance-dependent women to incorporate self-identity schema, and stress reduction in both individual, and small group settings.
Nicole began her career as an artist at Junior High School, in Wappinger Falls, in the late 1980’s, when she grew beyond her Zen notebook doodles, and began to explore oil paint. Being the first American-born generation of her Russian family, she looked first to her own personal history for inspiration. She drew on the experience of the Maternal Grandmother, who restored Russian icons, housed nesting dolls, and began developing her interpretation of iconographic work. Nicole’s work focuses almost exclusively on the human form, often derived fro the Egyptian fertility Goddesses, and Venus of Willendorf. Experimentation in skin color is her signature, but her Madonna’s are often depicted as having wings, and tails. Nicole seeks to heal the generational trauma of her family’s immigration, and cultural loss through this work.
Nicole is currently exploring and further developing styles in the meditative art forms specific to the reduction of stress, and the transformation of self, through spiritual seeking. Towards the healing of the body-image perception interruptions she is developing a program to recreating the human form in both two, and three dimensions, and will offer week-day workshops in Ulster County making this healing accessible to other women in the tri-state area.
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