Rachel was brought up in the west by a military father and an artist mother. As an “army brat” she moved numerous times from childhood through adolescence, in a constant state of change. White recalls traveling by car across the United States, watching the repetition of street lights in the sky with fascination. This is very apparent in all her paintings as the marks express constant movement or a state of flux. As a child Rachel spent much of her time in the art studio. Her mother nurtured Rachel’s artistic interests and instilled a love for materials: from allowing her to paint with oils by her side as early as 4 years old to placing butcher paper on her bedroom walls so Rachel could jump as high as she could while making large marks on the paper.
Mid-way through high school, Rachel discovered her love for art making and materials. With hard work and determination, in 1992 she was awarded a full tuition scholarship to College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. There she excelled, enjoyed and learned most media, from painting, foundry, welding to glass blowing and print making.
In 1996 White was awarded a full tuition Graduate fellowship to Alfred University. Where she focused on sculpture, installation, digital media and print making. After this she went on to practice her art professionally, attending residencies and working for artists.
A significant change happened in 2000 while a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. Curious to know what the life of a “9-5er” would be, White sought out and obtained corporate employment. She landed in a creative studio in the luxury cosmetics advertising industry in New York City. She climbed the ladder from Production Assistant to Worldwide Director of (photographic) Retouching, responsible for the perfecting of the photographic image in order to render it more appealing to the luxury cosmetics clientele, using her expertise in imagery and the human figure to perfect and beautify. She then moved into management as the Director of Creative Operations Worldwide in brands such as Lancome, YSL Cosmetics, Ralph Lauren Fragrances and Tom Ford Beauty. Meanwhile Rachel was exhibiting in the Queens International, had an international solo show coinciding with the Polo Championship in Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic as well as at the Veuve Cliquot Gold Cup finals in West Sussex, UK.
In 2016 Rachel White left the luxury beauty advertising industry and is now 100% professionally dedicated to her own artwork. Rachel lives and maintains her practice in her studio in Katonah, New York with her husband and two children. Since 2016 she has gained significant momentum and recognition as relevant, talented, and vivacious artist.
My work is an investigation of mark-making. Whether abstract or representational, I am intrigued by the marks we encounter on a daily basis especially the inadvertent: e.g. tire tracks on a snow dusted road, ball marks on the walls of a racquetball court. While I work in the studio, I find my process is a balance of letting my materials speak for themselves and my conscious control of where to place the mark.
The “Gilded Equine” series uses matte black and gold marks on a fresco-like surface to depict horses in motion. Tactile strokes entice the eye into an exploration of intelligence, emotion, movement, bodily mass. Bright, gilded reins and bit highlight the historical, driving connection between the horse and the masters hand: of guidance, partnership, submission and power.
The series “Looking Closer” celebrates marks. The paintings allow the viewer to immerse themselves in color, texture, transparency, contrast while the movement in the paintings alludes to emotionally evocative states of unsettled or floating objects and matter.Rachel White's Website