Caterina DeRousse’s sculptural clothing is deliciously rustic and excessive
For their senior collection at SAIC, Caterina was largely inspired “by the absurdity of stardom,” she says, “from A-List celebrities to influencers.” The stark detachment of the disposition of celebrities from the material conditions of reality is a “fascinating and infuriating” subject for Caterina, and informs much of her practice. “I wanted to create clothes capable of capturing this illusion of luxury”, explains the artist. “My research process involved scouring paparazzi photography, watching obscene amounts of influencer apology videos, and drawing my own characters from those scenes.” With that in mind, the project certainly leaves us with a critical eye on the celebrity and its prank.
In more general visual terms, Caterina finds herself drawing inspiration from a suitably eclectic list of sources. “Right now I gravitate towards all things pink, Tonya Harding, sex and the city but not the reboot, and that of David Hockney paper pools“, enumerates Caterina in her characteristic ironic sense of humor. And, best of all, despite the fact that Caterina’s creations can be inconvenient to move around and set up for photo shoots, the artist is dedicated to loving her sillier aspects. “I think over time I’ve definitely seen a growth in humor in my work,” they tell us. “The more work I do, the more comfortable I feel laughing about it.” Whether it’s the garment itself, its malleability, or the general reception from others, Caterina takes it all with a wink and a thumbs up. “I love seeing someone try to squeeze through a door frame or bend over to adjust their shoe when they’re wearing it,” she says. “When a piece of clothing is this massive, it swallows a whole person.”