Christine Cianci is an oil on panel painter and sculptor, living and working in San Francisco. In her paintings, she chooses oil on panel as her painting medium, finding the organic and very traditional methods of layers of pigment suspended in thickened medium to be what best resonates with her.
Her figurative subjects are inspired by dreams, life experiences, political and ideological concepts, and by her life-long romance with history and mythology. The style is evocative of 17th century chiaroscuro painters, with heavy contrast between dark backgrounds and dramatically lit figures, perhaps a nod to her having worked as a costume designer in the theater.
Ms. Cianci’s sculpture tends towards either portraiture, or a dark whimsey; For instance, an entire series is devoted to carnivorous mer-people preying on sailors, one of whom is filming with an Iphone. She is particularly fond of using a type of clay called Cassius Basaltic, which fires to a carbon black color; to keep its natural state, she then only glazes it in portions with clear glaze, 24 carat gold, or rubs it with metallic powders.
She has participated in many exhibitions in SF and had pieces in group exhibitions in NYC. Her work was represented by ArtworkSF and hung in group shows at their gallery and featured in the SF International Art Exhibition. Ms. Cianci participated in a two-woman show Fabulae Carnorum, with noted artist Torreya Cummings. Her art was featured in the celebrated Reversing the Gaze: Man as Object show at SOMARTS, and the Honoring Women’s Rights show at the Steinbeck museum, as well as other shows while a member of the Women’s Caucus for Art. As well as having pieces included in other smaller shows, Ms. Cianci produced 78 paintings that she published into the Roman Tarot deck with accompanying guide book, as well as producing the artwork for an interactive astrology app yet to be published, AstroTheatre.
ART is expression, evocation, emotion, and an eloquent elocution of each of these. Art speaks, cries or demands, it makes you feel, think or laugh.
I have learned and continue to learn from the masters; studying their work, their words, outside of any academic setting. This study and practice through time has allowed my hands to trust the directions from my mind’s eye, where my own visions coalesce.
Oil on panel is my chosen medium. Oils and wood. History, earth. I find oils to be toxic and sensual. Like life and love. Wood doesn’t bounce under my brush, allowing the pigment, suspended in oil, to glide over the smooth sanded gesso surface, layer upon layer. This layering utilizes the light properties of oil, bringing a luminous quality to the pieces.
Like most artists, I think in pictures. Pictures of dreams, myths, emotions, history, capturing the unique likeness of one singular person, or one singular moment in time. I paint primarily human beings, being human myself and thus intimately involved with the emotional signals of other humans. My goal is that the subjects in my paintings reach out to the viewer, initiating an emotional or intellectual response; a silent dialogue between viewer and piece where the viewer can make up their own narrative apart from any I intended.
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