ARTIST'S STATEMENT 2019

The underlying pursuit of my studio practice is to examine the possibility of being simultaneously involved and uninvolved in the complexity of all of our relationships, both animate and inanimate.

Elements of the environments we inhabit—signage, sound/music, advertising, and popular culture (basically the cultural clutter of our lives)—are primary in informing the paths and trajectories of the works’ visual language.    

The work is elaborate and complicated while concurrently yearning to avoid the entanglements it embodies.

And yet there is a joy in the confusion we live in. 

 

My practice chases that joy.

 

 

 

ARTIST'S STATEMENT 2010

 

Most of the paintings I make are titled with slang or colloquial and familiar expressions. They are the words we hear in every day conversation; expressions which we have become so familiar with they blend seamlessly into our daily dialogue.

 

This familiar form of language is ever present in the visual dialogue my paintings hold with their viewers. But, familiarity is a phantom. Familiarity is present, but ever evasive. It passes by us without acknowledgement. My paintings are familiar and colloquial, but according to their own standards, and like a child,  they find themselves far too fabulous to know it.

 

I have always known that painting exists in every nuance, and in every crook and cranny of this life. An artist sees wonder and beauty in every moment of this existence; in every physical structure, every ugly thought, every terrible act and every elated moment.

 

To this painter, all is beautiful….and the desire to have that beauty, whether it be an ugly beauty, or a beautiful, or horrific, or peaceful and dense and complicated one, is where the pursuit of my desire resides. The dynamic of this desire are these paintings' never ending compulsion in this ordinary and fascinating life. 

 

 

 

 

 

ARTIST'S STATEMENT 2008

 

Years of employment in television production have altered my perception. I not only understand the concept of “production value”, but to allow it to infiltrate my pursuits as a painter. To know production value is to understand how to create visual fraud. It is the seamless manufacturing and presentation of an image which defies observation. It is a place which exists somewhere beyond the boundaries of our natural world. To this manufactured place is where my paintings intend to go.

 

By choosing unintelligible colors, the underpaintings become a softened solitude of space. The sprayed backgrounds are anti-colors. They are colors which are designed to defy observation: the color of your computer keyboard for instance. Although I refer to these colors as that of my computer keyboard, they are initially found through observations in the natural world. The color of the dug up earth bleaching in the sun is the color of my computer keyboard. The gray sky prior to an August thunderstorm and the night sky in January similarly find postmodern references. These colors are compelled by nature, but secured by our modern world. We are prompted by the natural world, but hooked by modern life.

 

Regarding the process of making my paintings, it is after the initial spray coating which creates a visually clear and concise image of color, there is always a moment when I wonder if there is really a need to continue. Faced with a seamless surface with so much wonder, what is the point of continuing? But I am after all descended of Italian stonecutters, and the blue collar work ethic which ran through the veins of my ancestors clings tenaciously to my blood as well. It would be simply impossible to let the paintings go forth into the world prior to “clocking” several hundred hours upon them. Time and pain makes everything more interesting to a descendant of Roman mentality.

 

The imagery of the paintings take form through red lines. Red, the color when in paint form, has an extended drying time…which technically makes it more adaptable. In paint form, the pigment red is more difficult to work with.


It applies associations to all because it is the color of each of us. It is a politically important color. It assumes so many aesthetic alliances it is inherently confusing. It is extremely elaborate in its effects, but if afforded the perfect amount of compromise, it graces us with one of the most soothing sensations available through color.

 

The color red, as an attribute of the world, (an inherent quality, a distinguishing quality) is always there. It is something other than the absence of yellow and blue- and, thus, when that red becomes less red, it becomes more one or the other. It never exists in a linguistic condition of degradation or excess that must necessarily derive from our expectations.

 

There is a unity in the movement of the images. This movement depicts a flocking tendency. One gesture moves in accordance with another. Singular destination is not an option. The images move forward into a time yet to come…but not simply and quietly, but within the confines of a whirlwind. They gain ground, as in a flock, current or swell similar to the pattern of human experience in nature, the same human experience which measure an ever-recurring cycle that returns without fail to the paint from which it begins.

 

 

 

 

LISA STEFANELLI-LeROY