Alumna reinvents herself by exploring new media

A former rock band musician and astrologer is exhibiting her new artworks in Connecticut.

Eugenie Diserio, 1975 painting alumna, is displaying her abstract painting series “REBOOT” in an exhibit at the Stamford Government Center in Stamford, Connecticut. | EUGENIE DISERIO / COURTESY

There’s never been a moment in Eugenie Diserio’s life when she wasn’t creating.

 From performing in ‘80s rock bands to painting abstract canvases, art is about consciousness for her, she said.

 “Art is channeled energy, and channeling that energy is a spiritual practice,” said Diserio, a 1975 painting alumna. “When I trust the process of following my own energy and intuition and guidance from the universe, it usually brings resolution and clarity to the painting as it does to matters in life.” 

 Diserio is exhibiting her abstract painting series “REBOOT” at the Stamford Government Center in Stamford, Connecticut from Jan. 7 to Feb. 28. The collection compiles work from the past six years that Diserio committed to painting full time. She hopes the works prompt moments of reflection and connection. 

 “I am very excited to have my work bring color and beauty to the office space of the people that work there every day and also the visitors of the government employees. I hope a few of them take a pause to reboot during their busy days,” Diserio said.

Diserio’s son, Luke Buttenwieser, works at the Stamford Government Center as an intern for the city’s Department of Traffic, Transportation and Parking, and encouraged her to inquire about the gallery space. He said many of his colleagues enjoy his mom’s work, which helps liven up the “pretty drab government office” into a “nice, warm welcoming artistic environment.” 

Diserio connected with Lina Morielli, the gallery’s curator, after learning about the gallery space and was offered the first solo show of 2020.

 “The strength of her work shows in the consistency of line, spatial relationships and color that inform her intentions and also the use of distinctive marks throughout; much like poetry in motion,” Morielli wrote in an email to The Temple News.

Diserio was introduced to the abstract while studying at Temple University Rome, and began making paintings with expressive brushstrokes and jagged geometric shapes. Her creative process now involves mixing colors to create highly saturated or monochromatic themes, she said.

“I surrender to not necessarily knowing where I am going and trust the process,” she said. “Following intuition during a creative process is key. I also use metallic and iridescent colors to create reflective areas in the paintings. Historically and now, reflections have to do with human beings communicating with the spirit world and connecting with life’s deeper mysteries.”

Before she devoted herself to painting full time, Diserio played in rock bands, performing at nightclubs around New York City. Her band, Model Citizens, produced an EP with John Cale of the Velvet Underground, and in a later group, The Dance, she traveled the world on tour, she said. 

Buttenwieser said he grew up hearing stories of his mom hanging out with Madonna and going out for drinks with Bob Dylan, but she didn’t get back into art until he was in middle school. 

“It’s definitely a side I’ve never seen of her, only heard about, it’s very interesting to say the least,” he said. “I’m glad it’s kind of all coming full circle for her where she can pick up on the art again.” 

While raising Buttenwieser, Diserio said she stopped pursuing music, yet continued entrepreneurial efforts. 

In the ‘90s, she founded Astronet, an astrology website that provided horoscopes and tarot readings. Diserio always had an interest in the stars, and still completes birth charts and keeps track of new moons, eclipses and Mercury retrogrades. 

“I was a single mom and working a dead-end job to support my young son, “ Diserio said. “I knew I had to reinvent myself.” 

Astronet grew to become one of the largest online astrology sites, and Diserio was considered an internet content pioneer by The New York Times. The site was eventually acquired by the Hearst Corp and in the aftermath of the stock market crash, the dot-com industry collapsed by 2001, she said.

Diserio continues to reinvent her identity time and time again, constantly evolving as an artist. Throughout the changing phases of her style, she tries to keep her voice authentically her own. 

“Regardless of what medium or context you’re working with, the process and expression must reflect your authentic voice and be true to who you are,” she said. 

1 Comment

  1. Thank you so much for this wonderfully comprehensive and entertaining summary of my life’s creative journey and coverage of my recent solo show!
    Kudos to the young reporters and editors who got the facts so clear. My Junior year abroad at Tyler School of Art Rome in the late 70’s changed the tragectory of my life. I am so grateful to have graduated with my BFA in painting from Tyler/Temple University and go on to an MFA from Columbia U. Thrilled to have my painting career recently reinvented and going strong today! Namaste

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