Rochelle Ohrstrom is a familiar figure in the New York art world, in roles as diverse as artist, patron, and collector. Throughout her career, she has known many of its most fascinating figures.
As a painter, she has had three works exhibited by Lowry Simms, the former contemporary curator of The Metropolitan Museum. Her work has been collected by the Vassar and Syracuse museums. When she was commissioned by British Airways Concorde to paint the experience of Super Sonic Flight, she flew in the cockpit for take-off and landing.
In the winters of 1976 through 1979, Rochelle was a guest artist of the government of the Dominican Republic, where she painted many of the works featured in Ponzi and Picasso. As a collector and board member of museum committees, she has spent time at the cutting-edge of art from Beijing to Tehran and Dubai.
Ohrstrom was the first woman CEO of a nationally recognized advertising agency. She has also produced 8 television shows and directed several commercials. When not traveling to places of extreme natural beauty, she resides and works in Manhattan. She has two adult children. Ponzi & Picasso is her first work of fiction.
Isn’t it ironic that contemporary artists are overshadowed by a profession scaffolded with arrogance, bubble pricing, soufflé egos and more bling than Fifth Avenue at Christmas? I wrote Ponzi and Picasso to entertain my friends with a page turning story that revealed the murky art netherworld, where double-dealing is an art form rendered with charisma and specious words that garner huge cash returns. I wanted to give voice to the serious artist who has not been branded and bought. How does that artist reconcile the critical analysis of their work with a profession that, for the most part, measures applause from an artist’s marketing and branding presence?