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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Audrey Anastasi



Artist's Statement

I have always been fascinated with the human face and form. For many years, my work focused mainly on women in contemporary settings, breaking the "third wall" with the individuals in the paintings scrutinizing the viewer on equal footing with the viewer scrutinizing the painting.

Although I was working independently, my use of a "returned gaze" paralleled historical feminist concerns regarding the depiction of female subjects.

In 1990, I abandoned the facility of working with my right hand, in order to begin painting afresh with my non-dominant left hand. Accepting the challenge of this new struggle enabled me to reconnect with the physicality of the paint stroke, which had been heretofore subjugated to the rendering, and to redirect my attention on the soul of the subject matter.

Always obsessed with capturing an image, I cannot remember a time when I did not have a paintbrush or pencil in my hand. While still in grade school, growing up in suburban Baltimore, I recall setting up a small room in my basement as a painting studio. By the age of twelve, I was assisting in private classes, instructing other students who were learning classical drawing techniques from plaster casts.

The most recent series are experimental works on paper. Working with abandon, quickly, and intuitively, I combine many stylistic approaches; inscribing text, mixing a variety of materials with selected objects, merging observed representational images with autobiographical and imagination-driven content.

Biography

After graduating Magna cum Laude from the University of Miami, Audrey Frank Anastasi moved to Brooklyn to attend Pratt Institute, where she earned her Master's Degree in Fine Arts. From 1985 until 1994, she taught figure drawing, portfolio development, and anatomy for artists at Parson's School of Design. She has an extensive history of exhibiting her artwork in the US and abroad.

As a Humanist, in her own work and in teaching, Ms. Anastasi feels it is important for her to impart an awareness of how current social forces influence the way we see and interpret the human subject and inherently, the human condition, in art.

Audrey Anastasi has been featured in Smart Money Magazine, New York & Company, AKA the Lenny Lopate Show on National Public Radio (NPR), the New York Times, the New York Daily News, amNY newspaper, Pratt Folio, Jewish Week, the Arts & Entertainment supplements of the Brooklyn Eagle (InBrooklyn), the Brooklyn Courier (24/7), the Artworld Digest magazine, Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture, Valentine New York's Brooklyn Fine Art Magazine (BFA) premier Issue, On the Issues Magazine.com, and the New York Observer.

She was President of the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC) from 1999 to 2004, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) and Dance Theater Etcetera (DTE). She is a member of the National Association of Women Artists (NAWA) and the New York society of Women Artists (NYSWA). Anastasi is passionate about advocacy issues affecting artists lives each day.

Audrey and her husband Joseph are Co-Founders and Directors of Tabla Rasa Art Gallery, 224 48 Street, the first art gallery in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

A curator, gallery owner/director, educator and arts advocate, Audrey Anastasi remains, above all else, a tireless and dedicated working artist.




















Quotes:

Renowned art historian and feminist art critic Cindy Nemser says, "Audrey Anastasi is a terrific drafts woman and colorist who paints riveting portraits as well as dazzling fantasies that often include human forms. She has painted an image of herself and her mother that is so powerful it can knock you over. Her range is wide in both subject mater and media, but throughout all her art are traces of her uncanny ability to draw and perceive uncommonly well. She has a mastery over the figure one seldom sees today and a life enhancing quality to her use of color. Her works move from almost, but not quite objective realism to the more abstract and fanciful. However, underlying all her imagery is a vivid imagination and a deep comprehension of any media in which she works.

Art historian Priscilla Bain-Smith says of Audrey's paintings, "They are very powerful, very contemporary, painterly, and captivating."

Anders Knutsson, painter and curator says, “Audrey Anastasi is a master of figurative oil painting. Her surfaces are juicy, the brush strokes fast and confident – she doesn't hesitate, she just paints.”

Of her figure drawing, Buster Seccia, curator, says, "There is an immediacy and spontaneity in Audrey’s work that always intrigued me. It is a very dark and sensual interpretation of the figure, classical, yet having a totally modern twist. Her works are cutting edge, almost punk rock, and never derivative."







© Audrey Frank Anastasi

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