Rachel Rossin was born in 1987 in West Palm Beach, Florida, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts and Science from Florida State University. A self-taught programmer working in painting, installation, and virtual reality, Rossin examines the slippage between virtual and physical space, building hybrid sites for escape and reflection.
Raised in Florida, Rossin began drawing, playing multiplayer video games, and learning to hack and program computer software at a young age. She describes these early activities as ways of building “homes” for herself, while searching for safety from the chaotic setting of her childhood and seeking neutrality in the highly gendered space of the Internet. Today, the artist draws from these seemingly disparate disciplines to create her artworks. Rossin uses imagery and avatars hacked from video games and other digital environments to create her virtual reality pieces, such as Skin Suits (2019) and Man Mask (2016). For her hologram combine paintings, Rossin installs LED display fans directly into the surface of her paintings. The gestural, abstracted paintings are based on digital renderings and environments created by the artist, while the implanted fans display images of cats, birds, harpies, and other mythological symbols that hover in the space just in front of the canvas. Rossin also creates sculptural works from plexiglass panels with embedded imagery from her digital archive and personal mythology. Using a blowtorch, the artist heats these panels and uses her own body to mold them into three-dimensional sculptures. Installed and lit to emphasize their shadows, these plexiglass sculptures are often shown with accompanying augmented reality video. Throughout her body of work, Rossin moves fluently between the digital and the physical, at once creating sites for psychological processing and healing while questioning the blurring between simulation and reality.