Vienne Rea is an exhibiting visual artist who regularly presents her work in national and international shows. Her diverse creativity is expressed through multi-disciplinary visual arts—primarily, photography and sculpture. She prefers to work in themed series in both art forms. Her choice of themes is emotionally-driven and, in return, is emotionally received.
Having been a fine art photographer for over thirty years, Vienne Rea's work has shown in galleries from the Austrian Embassy in Washington D.C. to the Foto Biennale in Berlin, Germany. Previous photographic themes which she has explored include: The Holocaust of WWII, African-American Slavery, Childhood, Divinity, the Collective Feminine; and the artist has several new themes forthcoming. Through the use of digital and analog photography, Rea creates imagery closely reminiscent of the Pictorialist style of late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her “signature” blur—which was once shamefully criticized by an art school professor, has become a distinguished feature of her photography. The intentional use of blur enriches the narrative whether it relates anguish, strength, confinement, struggle, or the opposite emotional spectrum of joy, tenderness, sovereignty, or serenity. Additionally, the relevant distance between herself and her subject unconsciously draws the viewer more deeply into the image. All of this works alongside powerful use of composition, stylized toning, light and shadow to enhance the storytelling in Rea’s body of work. Ultimately, the viewer may feel as if they are inside the memory of another. Any interplay between the viewer and the subject, especially resulting in an emotional connection, is her primary aim and that which makes this artist's work so memorable.
As a sculptor, Vienne Rea innovatively uses a wide variety of materials and hardware to create contemporary sculpture, which has become The Ladder Series. In her early sculpting career, Rea used assemblage techniques with metal, acrylic, and distinctive hardware to bolt, lace, and drill onto paintings and her photographs to create a third dimension. In 2012, Rea's pursuits in sculpture turned to the single theme—Ladders—which came to her in a dream. Fueled by this new inspiration, she sought a mentor to guide her in metal welding which beneficially led her to the renowned sculptor David Hess. Today, combining traditional and non-traditional materials, and using an array of sculpting techniques, the artist continues to expand on the captivating theme. The use of ladder-as-symbol has become a vehicle for her expression of autobiographical and biographical stories spanning a lifetime of experiences. All the while, the universal theme can easily elicit our own personal associations.