Vesna Kittelson



Da Vinci and the Drone

In the installation Da Vinci and the Drone, I contrast the idealism of Leonardo Da Vinci’s concept of a flying machine, motivated by his curiosity about having a man flying in the air, with an actual 7 ft. wing span scale model of a CIA Reaper spy drone, where, in a complete conceptual reversal of intentions, the drone flies without including a human being.  The drone model in this installation is grounded in my studio, although it could be fully functional and capable of flying 20 miles while spying.

The installation is composed of live streaming images of people taken by the Reaper drone camera (NOT RECORDED), 8 drawings on parchment paper sheets with a mix of images on each, Da Vinci’s images of various flying machines and the drone, and a laser cut wood replica of Da Vinci’s wing.

Babel Tower, TWICE born, BORDER CROSsing

I find that sculpture/installation is most appropriate medium for addressing chaos, violence and instability, caused by misunderstandings among different human groups and nations, in today’s world. To abstract those issues, I reimagined the biblical myth of the TOWER of BABEL because it resonates with current conflicts over issues from ecology to energy to border security, to wars and financial chaos. 

The Babel Towers are constructed from cut and shaped foreign language dictionaries covered with encaustic, a cut up pillar, a plinth of aged wood, adhesive letters, strings and rubber bands, iron, and copper leaf. 

Each sculpture is comprised of mostly reused materials to bring out unknown visual qualities in the objects as well as the sensation of physicality in the space surrounding them.


Paper Torsos

Paper Torsos, are a cluster of paper paintings-sculptures, combining a sense of the exactitude of a 3D object with the baroque sense of painting: the language of brushstrokes, color, texture, and tonality. The scale of these torsos is less than 2 ft., and if presented on eye level, it allows a viewer to experience the intimacy of the entire painted surface and the object at once. 

Conceptually, I am fascinated with the fact that Nike, an ancient Greek goddess, a female, personifies victory! It is not a plot-driven concept that intrigues me, just the bare fact that I know of no equivalent to Nike - a female celebrated as victory - in contemporary cultures.



Necklaces are a body of environmental sculptures referencing ideals of contemporary urban life, fashion, and architecture made of found urban street trash, soft objects, ready-mades, and repurposed objects. The joys of muchness and anxieties of environmental issues are at the heart of this sculpture.

All artwork photos by: Rik Sferra