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Featured Artist: Corina Dross



Quietly but steadily, Corina Dross's finely detailed, haunting images have earned her a strong presence in Philadelphia's DIY art scene. I met Ms. Dross in 2007 when she began showing some of her work, wood block prints and small magnetized reproductions of pen and ink drawings, at VIX Emporium. At that time, she had completed a handful of "protection" illustrations, each meant to be one in a deck of magical playing cards. The full set of 54 illustrated cards, Portable Fortitude, was finally published last fall, and the protection spread like wildfire. It's already almost out of stock (the feature on Daily Candy certainly helped); but never fear, a reprint is in the works.


Corina will be vending her wares at GO WEST! on April 9 and has been kind enough to answer a few questions for this post.


Where are you from originally? 
"I grew up in Chicago where my mother, also an artist, took me to life drawing classes from a very young age. I remember drawing animal skeletons in a dark, vast museum as part of a class through the Art Institute of Chicago and thinking, finally, something interesting." 


How long have you lived in Philadelphia?

"I moved to Philly in 2004 and lived in a few warehouses dedicated to studio and show space before I settled in West Philly. I've found my family here; it feels more like home than anywhere else I've lived."

How would you describe your artistic process and/or inspiration?

"When I was growing up my best friends were books, and I always intended be a writer so I could pick up and continue the kind of intimate conversation that happens when you read a book...as an artist I mostly make work that you can hold in your hand, like a book, and most of it you can read... I think my creative urge is bound up with intimacy and continuing a conversation from the voices who have shaped me. I'm also very inspired by my friends in Philadelphia -- the artists, musicians, writers, performers, activists...people here are making some imaginative, daring, and technically accomplished work coming from a very different place than the art I've seen in other cities. I'm grateful to be part of it."


What else would you like people to know about you or your work?
"I work very, very slowly. It takes a long time to get an idea right, and I have more ideas than I can ever develop in one lifetime. I keep a book of schemes to hand off to whoever's around when I die, in case they want to make any of them. Oh, and I love doing commissioned work, but as I said, I work slowly."

Many thanks to Corina for the interview. Come out to GO WEST! April 9 to see her work in person.


PS. We're planning a solo show for Corina at VIX Emporium on June 11 - stay tuned for details.

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