Daniela Rossell was born in 1973 in Mexico City, Mexico, and studied the performing arts before beginning classes in painting at the National School of Visual Arts (UNAM) in the early 1990s. Through a variety of media—sculpture, painting, performance, and photography—she has consistently explored issues of wealth and excess, body image and beauty.
While in college Rossell developed a photographic project that poignantly confronts these issues—the series became known as Ricas y Famosas. Over the years she has taken thousands of images that feature the (mostly) young and blond nouveau riche of Mexico in their opulent homes. Rossell began by taking photos of her extended family to help pass the time she spent in their world. She became intrigued with these documents of how people choose to live and present themselves, and soon broadened her scope from her relatives to their friends.
The project continued until 2002, when the artist published a book collecting over seventy images. For Rossell the works are most potent in this intimate, portable form. The viewer is able to sit on her own couch, flip back and forth between images, and reflect upon how signs of taste and prosperity differ depending on class and culture.
Daniela Rossell has had solo exhibitions at the University of Salamanca, Spain (2003); Greene Naftali Inc., New York, NY (2000); and Galeria OMR, Mexico City, Mexico (1996). Group exhibitions include: Mexico City: An Exhibition about the Exchange Rates of Bodies and Values at Kunst-Werke Berlin, Germany (2003) and P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, NY (2002); Sublime Artifical at La Capella, Barcelona, Spain (2002) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA (2002). Rossell’s work can also be seen this summer in the 2003 Prague Biennial. The artist is currently based in Mexico City, Mexico.