Channeling diverse influences ranging from endangered species and cut flower arrangements, to children’s amusements and Italian folk music, Pugliese‘s new mixed media paintings capture the fleeting quality of life. By suffusing abstracted swathes of colour with carefully drawn details and a coral reef aesthetic, the works ask viewers to untangle dense layers and find relationships in seemingly disparate imagery. Geometric shapes resembling building blocks threaten to swallow carefully rendered details of plants, suggesting their likely demise through the agency of human progress. However, rather than obliterating the natural living things, these geometric shapes appear to be replicating themselves – learning how to grow alongside the natural world.
Measured Calm explores the relationship between the enjoyment evoked by the sensuous depiction of a subject and a conflicting moral message, a concept inspired by the still life, or “vanitas”, paintings of the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries. This is akin to the artist’s breathless lust when she enters a flower shop and imagines composing an arrangement drawn from the exquisite living things contained within. With such an assortment of blooms – common, rare and possibly endangered – she must contain her desire to have them all. It seems that in today’s world, when we scrutinize our base, often materialistic, urges we inevitably confront our morals.
Photo documentation by Brian Burnett.
View Press Release from Loop Gallery exhibition.
View Press Release from Gallery 555 exhibition.