Barbara Smith Gioia
For me, making art is a philosophical pursuit that embraces the dynamics created by the interplay of line, color, pattern and texture within an abstract format. Improvisation is an important part of my process as the works develop and evolve. I’m interested in compositions that banter about and ultimately arrive at completeness through a kind of dialogue between myself and the work. Line is my vehicle for deeply felt personal expression, often alluding to subconscious thought. Entering the unknown, each painting becomes its own journey and arrives with an individuality that describes a particular world. What engages and challenges me most is a process that often combines a variety of different media: monotype, woodcut, silkscreen, and linoleum block prints; ink, oil stick, charcoal and acrylics. From these various media I create works on paper that either stand alone or become the raw material for collage paintings. I work on several paintings simultaneously with each one feeding off the others while adamantly retaining its individuality. As such, the works, be they monotype or collage painting, have a thread connecting them through their shared materials, forms and marks. My paintings are an invitation for viewers to enter a space that is open to interpretation and allows for free association. The works are just as likely to be read as metaphors for contemporary life as personal meditations. The paintings are a reflection of the world as I see it through a nonobjective visual language
Whether in drawing, painting, or printmaking, the process for me is about layering and energizing space in such a way that objects are fluid, interconnected and full of energy and movement. I try to utilize a variety of lines, marks and media to suggest both stasis and openness to possibility and transformation as well as the passage of time. As I attempt to describe the multiple realities which intermingle in memory, imagination and daily life, images emerge and diverge – reconfiguring in new relationships. Everything is open and flows back and forth: empty and full, defined by its opposite -fleeting yet tangible – air and space dissecting form and formless in an effort to capture the unity and delight of life experienced, remembered, longed for.