Kathleen Vaccaro
Artist Statement: Film Noir

Kathleen Vaccaro’s newest work mixes imagery from film noir, imagination, and memory. This work ties together images from the past and Vaccaro’s present day life experiences. Imagery is taken out of context in order to connect viewers specifically to the romance, and occasional heroism found in American film noir, and to let them reflect on contemporary ideas of romance and heroism. For Vaccaro, this body of work is a way to stay connected to her grandparents’ generation. The work captures the fading away of this generation. This work explores the femme fatale, one of the first strong character types for women in films. Against the backdrop of WWII, romance and morality became individualistic and complicated. Today, many people can relate to film noir’s dangerous, disillusioned world punctuated by bright moments of selflessness and love. 


Vaccaro is interested in capturing the flickering light and the disintegrating romantic images in old film noir. Modern printers and computer software allow her to combine film stills, photographs and materials in a way that is unique to the time in which we live. By including photo transfers in the work, she lets go of some of the control and includes the element of surprise. The process of making her artwork - the searching, experimenting, and synthesizing, is how her ideas and emotions enter the work. To be direct, she views painting and drawing as one. The film imagery is often destroyed, simplified and changed as a piece develops. Vaccaro’s love for paint and ink is evident in her work.