C l a u d i a F u r l o w, P a i n t e r
I produce oil paintings aided by the traditional techniques of grisaille and glazing, informed by the Dutch and Flemish Baroque painters, such as Rembrandt van Rijn and Jan Fyt and the memento mori tradition.
My early roadkill work utilizes the memento mori genre to address human vulnerabilities and fears. This narrative creates an analogy between human and animal suffering. While an animal suffers the consequence of an ill-timed highway crossing, humans suffer the the consequences of decisions about relationships and finances. My macro perspective of animal viscera uses the unlikely pairing of grotesque imagery with Renaissance aesthetics to produce compelling paintings made poignant by the subtext of loss and vulnerability. The in-your-face perspective ironically tempers the shock of the content by the removal of context. Despite positioning the viewer in the very midst of the curves and colors of animal tissue, the disturbing narrative shifts to one of formal aesthetics.
However, I am an emotional being, and my current research has taken a detour. Musings on the spiritual, paranormal and the mysterious occupy my waking and dreaming world. I cream together my own interpretation of being, based on my Christian childhood, my explorations into Hinduism and Buddhism, the concept of maya, and physical science: Our physicality masked by illusion, supported by atomic theory that everything physical can be reduced to vibrating atoms. And then, according to quantum theory, the potentiality exists of their being two places at once. What...? Are we here, or are we not...? My work reflects this interest and plays with these concepts of time and space. The subjects of these paintings exist in various states of in-betweenness. The koi fish are between their watery world and ours; the musicians of the President's Own are blurred, mirage-like by the blinding boke of bright sun reflecting off their uniform buttons; the full visual of the Pincushion Flower blurs with the viewer's desire to visually digest each perfect petal. At my age, memory and sensation are more titillating than formal aesthetics.
My early work invites appreciation for the architecture of the animal body. Current work explores the binocular visual obscured by emotion and musings.