Rose Keeffe

Memento Mori, 2020

Oil on Canvas

24 x 20 in.



Rose Keeffe: Iconoclast

January 16 - 30, 2021


This work documents my thoughts and experiences taking the MBTA commuter rail to work in the weeks leading up to Covid-19 lockdown. I was reading Albert Camus’ The Plague at the time and taking the mostly empty train into work. The uncanny and foreboding environment of the empty train paralleled the tone of the book for me and this painting represents that headspace. In it, I depict Camus as a banshee; a kind of ghost known to wash the blood from the clothes of the soon to be deceased. This expresses my frustration with my local and national government refusing to heed the omens of death that Covid was bringing. This work acts as a “Memento Mori” for current community leaders.

ROSE KEEFFE, Memento Mori

SKU: RK007
  • Rose Keeffe received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2018. Since then, she has set up her studio in the greater Boston area where she continues to expand and explore her art process.

    Keeffe works primarily in oil, but utilizes digital mediums heavily in her ideation process, creating collages in photoshop that she then synthesizes on the canvas. She pulls imagery from mythological and historical sources to contextualize and articulate her own personal narratives and create depth and complexity in her work. 

    Her recent works center around the skepticism and disillusionment she feels as a recent college graduate in the current social environment. Her works reflect on her experiences being a young lesbian as she endeavors find acceptance in a world with values and expectations to which she finds impossible to relate.


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