WET INTO WET
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Wet Into Wet, A Solo Show by Valerie Pobjoy
Exhibition: April 7th - May 3rd, 2018
On Saturday, April 7th, Flower Pepper Gallery is pleased to present Wet Into Wet, a solo show by Valerie Pobjoy. This is Valerie’s second solo show with the gallery in addition to her participation in numerous group exhibitions. However, this collection of works in particular focuses on a specific method of her painting that is rarely seen in our modern era at such a high level. Portraits throughout history have been described as both a work of fact and fiction. While they are based on real people, the success of them lies in the artist’s ability to see past the façade and capture humanity on a deeper level.
While these emotions are intrinsically personal to the individual in the painting, they are also universally relatable and felt by us all. Valerie has mastered the ability to paint someone and everyone in a single piece. This inherent emotion is partially due to the method of painting that Valerie describes as “Alla prima.”
“‘Alla prima’ (Italian for ‘at first’) is an oil painting technique, where each layer of the painting is still wet as the next layer is applied. This process requires a fast way of working, since the reference is a live model and there is a limited amount of time. This technique came into popularity in the Impressionist movement.
One of the things I love about alla prima is that it retains freshness and spontaneity of the quick decision making of the painting. It is how I first learned to paint in 2011 and have continued to practice this way to stay sharp. When I've talked about this practice with other painters we see it as an analogy: comparing rappers' studio albums with freestyle rap; the best rappers also freestyle well. Without the studio and ability to add layers and layers, with unrestricted time to view the reference it helps me work on my weaknesses, hone my strengths and rekindle my love about oil paint. Certain paintings will require studio time, however reference from photography can ‘deaden’ the painting and it will feel stale. Working in the alla prima technique helps me work life back into the two dimensional image.”
This dedication and philosophy has resulted in work that is brimming with life and empathy. The rich layers of color pays tribute to the old masters but Valerie has proven she is not afraid to take the style further. Most portraiture in the past would selectively show only what the subject would want seen. It would elevate the positive and romanticize the rest to the point where people often resembled idealized gods and goddesses more then regular people.
Valerie’s work is so compelling because she paints with immense honestly and elevates it all. No emotion or subject matter is considered too lowly or unappealing and with her brush, it is all revealed to be beautiful. Each muse is unique and given the immense respect of being a complete, unabbreviated human being. They are not merely subjects to be viewed, but they represent different attributes in all of us and reveal the complex beauty and emotion hidden within.
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Press Release written by Emiko Woods
Many thanks to Supersonic Art for featuring the exhibition! Click here for the feature.