Q U O T A, a series of paintings which incorporate found parking tickets, dominates the body of Orianne’s work and is inspired by the evolution of New York City, spanning the last two decades.
In 1996, Orianne Cosentino curiously picked up a discarded parking ticket from a littered street in Chelsea. The object held a special weight as the city’s latest mayor was all over the news for aggressively ticketing citizens in an attempt to clean up the city streets. She thought it could be incorporated into her work, pocketed it, and has been collecting tickets ever since. Today, she has amassed* a huge collection of these ubiquitous bright orange envelopes and white paper summonses, and the city has become a luxurious place to live, thanks in part to the hard earned dollars paid every year by individuals and businesses for violations of all kinds. Read more.
They call it productivity goals, we call it quotas, and it’s a very stressful situation. D. Bailey, a Brooklyn union official with the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association
IN the mid-1990's Rudolf Giuliani took his seat at the head of New York City very seriously, armed with a contentious plan to clean up the streets. This angered and confused many because it brought into question the use of public spaces. Beloved aspects of the landscape were suddenly considered a threat to the ‘quality of life’ and people began to get ticketed for all manner of outrageous "lawbreaking”. Street vendors, artists, musicians were first to be cleared from the curb, all fines were doubled and summonses were dealt out for unheard of offenses like “feeding the birds” and “flying a kite in a park."
Police officers should be rewarded for deterring crime, not for writing twenty parking, five movers and five quality of lifers. A. Miranda, executive chairman of the National Latino Officers Association
Newspapers encouraged people to submit in their unjust ticketing stories for publication, and officers spoke out about the dangers of a quota system. The PBA went so far as to take out ad space reminding people “Don’t Blame the Cop” for heightened fines and unheard of infractions and urged to people to send letters to the mayor’s office in protest of the unspoken quota creating pressure among law enforcers to write daily tickets.
The NYPD has become a summons machine generating millions of dollars to close the city’s budget gap while eroding the relationship between police and the communities they serve. PBA president P. Lynch speaks about a quota system
As an artist, saving the iconic pieces of paper found strewn about the streets was a way to document a time of change, which was only just beginning. It wasn’t until two mayors, and almost a decade of collecting, that Orianne worked her first found ticket into a canvas, finally putting them to use. Bloomberg was well established in office, continuing to raise the standards and costs of living. Aggressive ticketing continued to mount and fill the coffers of the city not only from moving and quality of life violations but with building and environmental agencies contributing to the blitz.
Don’t blame me, blame Bloomberg! NYC cop after ticketing someone for improper use of a milkcrate
In early works, the found objects are carefully and chaotically laid onto abstract canvases, with a clear and forward role, meant to exemplify each ticket. As the series progresses, the summonses become the foundation of representational urban landscapes. The relentless tickets creating the infrastructure of each scenic painting, helping to portray the subjects within and the subjects of New York City, itself. Often times landscapes are recorded just before the scene is altered by demolition, redesign and/or reconstruction. The color and markings of each ticket, re-appropriated as a form of art, lend a depth to the work. Gritty shadows and whitewashed light vie in the street scenes, mixed with a little bit of protest.
Orianne Cosentino is NYC born and raised (Queens). She is currently based out of Brooklyn and works as a chef when she is not painting. After graduating from the School of Visual Arts in 1999, and a short stint as a graphic designer, she traveled extensively, developing a plein air painting style and an interest in capturing landscapes both natural and man-made. While living in Paris, she fell into her career path of cooking and, in combining her passions, also makes illustrations of food. Please inquire.
*Tickets are only collected from the ground, never taken off a car, unless willingly donated by the owner. Thanks (and sorry) to all the ticket donors who have supported this series. artist O. Cosentino on acquiring parking tickets for her paintings