“My Abstract Expressionist work emphasizes spontaneity and the exploration of new emotions, feelings, and thoughts. It combines self-expression and emotional intensity.
I draw my inspiration from a trip to Asia, where I encountered fascinating visual effects done with prayer papers, glued directly onto temple doors, sculptures of saints and even trees. Due to changing weather conditions, these papers become even more intriguing, mixing and blending into different layers and further interacting with the surfaces they are glued on. The intricate effects are thrilling.
I have since been working with rice or silk paper that is traditionally used for weddings, burials and ceremonial burning rituals. I also collect and work with papers that are considered “trash,” such as candy or gift wrappers and give them a second life as I incorporate them into my works. My paintings are created by soaking, gluing and layering these materials together. I then use metallic paints that I rub onto the canvas, adding and peeling away color and papers.
Although my work is abstract I like to stay in control of the visual effects and the tone of colors. As a result, I carefully choose my material, and I cast the final piece in many different layers of varnish in an attempt to control time and the destruction of things. I would compare my artwork to the contemporary European art movement called “Les Affichistes”. These artists worked with commercial posters that were picked directly off the streets. Instead of being considered poorly, the decay and recycling process is elevated to the rank of art.”
About figurative work:
My figurative collection is a way to point out poetic, nostalgic or even distressing feelings. I add meaningful symbol into them like the flower Hellebore, symbol of concern, that means "ease my anxiety".
1942 is a tribute to the many Jewish children who suffered so much and eventually lost their lives during the dark times of the Nazi occupation and WW II. This painting shows a child cuddling a white blanket. At first glance, the viewer may think of an innocent child being fast asleep. However, the painting rather suggests a far more saddening story. In fact, this child succumbed to the tragedy and horrors of the war while trying to raise a white flag, the symbol of peace. The essence of my painting only shows of how important it is to comfort us, so we can deal and live with the tragic memories of the past.
When painting Girl with a Strawberry I did not have a particular story in mind. However, Girl with a Strawberry does embody the secrecy and mystery of childhood. Interestingly enough, whenever I exhibit this painting I am always delighted to listen to the many stories this painting evokes in viewers. I would like to share three with you: Once a little girl approached me and said in a very serious voice: "She is looking at adulthood. It was then when it hit me. Aren’t I supposed to be the one looking at childhood? All of a sudden, my very own creation is looking back at me! At another occasion, somebody said, "The girl is looking at her mother’s paintings, and she thinks they take up too much space. She is telling her mom, ‘Come into my own space!’" The last one I would like to share is of a more rational kind; nonetheless I love it, too. "She wasn’t supposed to eat the strawberry, but she did it anyway, and now she feels guilty. That’s why her arms are like this…"
I wonder what stories you may come up with …
J’ai mis toute ma vie à savoir dessiner comme un enfant." / "It has taken me me a lifetime to learn how to draw like a kid" Pablo Picasso
Like Picasso, I have been trying the same with the help of my kid’s drawings. Surprisingly, it is difficult to achieve the freedom, joy and lightness that generally radiate from a child’s mind. At one point, I came to the realization that in order to achieve just that I had to put my knowledge on the backburner and let my emotions and feelings guide me. This has helped me with my abstract paintings but particularly with my new collection of Azalee’s paintings.
I simply enjoy immersing into a child ‘s world, especially of the ones I’m surrounded with. The bright full colors and amazing imagination of the material I work with make the entire process very enjoyable. At the same time I would like to point out that even though all the characters seem to be full of smiles, they can in fact hide a rather sad or odd story like in Pigeon or Choice. It’s one way to remind us adults that childhood not only consists of happy moments.