i had the greatest night - i went to the gallery opening of Studio Montclair's exhibit "Discovery in the Detail". the 34 participating artists had a "close up" version of their work. so each presented two pieces of art. i was captivated by all the art but, one artist really caught my eye.
there is a graphic raw element to her work - here is my interview with her.
Chaletmomma (CM): What was your inspiration for your piece Cat Devouring A Bird?
Josephine Barreiro (JB): i’m influenced by my environment my memories and by my Spanish culture. the bold colors and dramatic brush work of such artists as Picasso, Goya, Miro and Dali. Picasso’s bold confident palette, fluid lines and cubist style have always caught my attention. his style has always inspired me. Picasso has a painting entitled, Cat Devouring a Bird 1939, this is another one of Picasso’s obsession with the Spanish Civil war. i’ve always wanted to paint my own version of Cat Devouring A Bird. i actually have two versions of this piece one is a full body painting of the cat and this newer version draws even more attention to the killing of the bird. in my piece, i wanted to represent the true nature of cats
(CM): can you tell me anything behind these works... your original idea. something that triggered these pieces?
(JB): i created a series of expressive portraits - this is one of them. this piece is a portrait of a person's reaction to spotting another person they are attracted to and celebrating it with a happy greeting.
(CM): i see a graphic element throughout your work – was this always your aesthetic / or did it come to you? i'm thinking of your artistic self in your younger years - what was your vision and how has it changed and grown?
(JB): I was a graphic arts /advertising design major at The School of Visual Arts where I received my BFA, later getting my MFA in painting at New Jersey City University.
i’ve been painting for as long as i can remember...as a child i drew on my bedroom walls - my parents got so tired of painting it over they just gave in to it and just let it be and at the age of 4, i was very happy about this!
i was always involved in the arts, i always had the support of my parents and knew i wanted to be an artist. my style is urban expressionism, my form of expression was always there as a young artist, but has evolved and matured and developed into a style that can be identified as my own.
The exhibit runs from April 6 through May 19, 2018.
the Studio Montclair Gallery 127 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ
the show features work in a variety of visual mediums in which the artist discovered a detail that they found compelling enough to be expanded.
these works from Ms. Barreiro's Black and White series explore emotion through gesture. the artist shows how important it is to hear our non-verbal communication.
(JB): i approach both of these pieces by painting multiple sheets of paper white then let them dry. once dry i fill each sheet with patterns and repetitive lines using acrylic black paint and black spray paint. once the patterns are dry on the sheet i tear and rip them into interesting shapes, working on my composition and gluing them into place on the wood panel.
it’s a very meditative process. when i have all the patterned papers glued in place on the wood panel, i create the central figure using white acrylic paint and a gestural fluid black outline. i place and glue my gestural figure front and center on the panel. the figure then takes center stage; expressive, exposed and vulnerable for all to see.
my figures are painted as animal and human form and they are always faceless unlike my color paintings that have faces. In my black and white pieces i want the gestural lines to express the emotion in the piece. the figures are drawn out on sheets of white acrylic painted paper. the black fluid gestural lines that outline the figure give it, its expressive qualities.
(JB): with all that's going on in the world today a little love, empathy and respect toward one another goes a long way.
(JB): this is a portrait of my childhood cat Midnight she was a tough tiny black street cat we took in and loved to the day she died. she would bring us “gifts” - birds, worms, butterflies, bugs and stand by them ever so proudly as to say " Look what I got for you!" i miss her.
when was the last time you viewed art unknown to you?
was inspired by new art?
I encourage you - seek out a venue - a gallery opening - a new museum.
til next time.