Amanda Joy Calobrisi
School of the Museum of Fine Arts | SMFA
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
My painted forms reveal themselves through heightened color, loose pattern and uncouth texture. Figures, patterns and voids push and pull at each other creating psychologically charged spaces. The photographs that I take in preparation for the paintings are like composing a mirage, a vision that I use as a point of departure into paint. I have no interest in replicating the photo. I let everything mutate on the canvas allowing my imagination to interject. I shift colors and their temperatures and discover rhythms to translate patterned passages. Organic shapes and tangled marks executed with a loaded brush allow the figures to exist in a field of constant motion despite painting’s persistent stillness.
Recently I have been looking to ancient art to find powerful depictions of women. The ancient Greek anasyrma pose is the lifting of skirts and exposing of genitals. It is a form of exhibitionism but not for the purpose of sexual arousal- instead it is used as an apotropaic device, a gesture of power, healing and fructifying in both the physical and supernatural worlds. I have borrowed the pose as to rethink it in a contemporary context and emphasize the numinous qualities of the vulva and penis rather than as erotic or signifiers of gender. The figures in my paintings are often both feminine and masculine simultaneously (as we all are). I find it necessary to paint these two qualities co-existing in a state of mutuality; overlapping, intersecting and dependent on one another.
The website will be permanently closed shortly, so please retrieve any content you wish to save.