As a first generation Italian, the only art I encountered as a child were paintings represented on Holy Cards. These paintings were invariably Baroque in style and mostly depicted the lives of the saints.
In my early work, I strove to bring this past into the present vis-à-vis the manner of painting--the layering process, etc. I began with straight ahead still lives and portraits. My subjects were restricted in space and a hard light was always falling onto one side of he object. I brought some very superficial elements of 17th century portraiture in terms of light and surface value.
Some paintings have a loose Dutch conceit to them where I have employed the green color value plus elements such as drapery and stain glass windows.
At grad school and beyond, I made it my mission to document the people in my life. I consider these portraits to be psychological studies. I never pose my subjects but, rather, have them sit or stand at their level of comfort. I want the viewer to come away thinking that they know something of this particular person.
Later, I began to incorporate other elements into the portrait--collage and verbiage. I no longer wish the viewer to assume something about this person--I am now explaining something of the personality and my very biased opinion. For example, in a painting titled, “A Short Biography,” there are collage elements--photos, charts and even an etching I had done years before. This is my ex-husband posed, perhaps ridiculously, with a John Singer Sargeant diva affectation.
Presently I am moving away from the human figure. Some of my latest work was born from my father’s tool box. As the daughter of an Italian man, I had to be the son he did not yet have and therefore, had access to his carpentry tools and materials which I have dutifily saved over the years. I am working on a series titled “Oggetti del mio Padre” in which I use his objects as an anchor for these pieces. This process is spontaneous and gestural and I do consider them to be still lives. I am now using spray paint and graphite. The viewer is invited to seek meaning in these pieces as well.