Hermaphrodite

by Amy Talluto

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Artist Statement

 

All of my work is based on landscape imagery I collect while rummaging around in the woods with a hardy-but-cheap, point-and-shoot digital camera. My paintings are usually large or very small and are all oil on canvas or panel. I create my work in the studio, referencing the photographs I take and download onto my laptop screen. Never having been one for plein air painting, I find working in the studio from a photo allows me to have enough distance from the original scene to allow me to impose more of my own psychology and color onto the raw material of the collected image. In this piece, I am exploring themes that are common to all my works. I am interested in the contrasting anxiety and relief that occurs from pairing areas of dense hyper-detail with areas of breathe-ability. Snippets of saturated under-painting (what I like to call "air holes") peek out and are left raw. Heavily painted areas of density and deformity creep in as well; thus creating a final puzzle-locking composition that confuses the appearance of flatness and space, invented color and natural color, and ugliness and beauty. Hermaphrodite was so named because of a curious and unexpected phenomenon that appeared while painting the main pine tree trunk. The source image was taken in Glacier National Park (Montana) in 2006, while trudging through a muddy fog-blanketed trail in the Two Medicine region. This trail, coincidentally, was a sacred area used for vision quests by the Blackfoot Indians.

 

Amy Talluto

 

Amy Talluto was born and (mainly) raised in New Orleans, LA except for a short stint in early childhood when she lived in Cheyenne, WY, and Madison, WI. As a teenager in New Orleans, she began painting and photographing landscapes, inspired by a large and wild, thistle-filled field across the street from her home. She earned her BFA at Washington University in St. Louis in 1995 and then moved to New York, where she has lived since. She earned her MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2001.  She has shown her paintings in both New York and Chicago. In April 2011, she had a solo exhibition at Black & White Gallery in Brooklyn, NY; in January of 2009, she had a solo exhibition at Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago. Previous shows include a two-person exhibition in NY's PS122 Gallery and several group shows, including exhibitions at Wave Hill Gardens in the Bronx; the Abrons Art Center and Gallery Satori in New York; the Kentler International Drawing Space, Metaphor Contemporary Art and the Brooklyn Arts Council in Brooklyn; and the Kleinert/James Art Center in Woodstock, New York, as well as shows in Wyoming and Oregon.  She recently moved from Brooklyn to Upstate NY, where she lives with her husband, Jeremy, and small son, Steve.

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