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Sharon Shapiro

Louisa, VA

Sharon Shapiro’s figurative paintings and works on paper have been exhibited in numerous venues including shows in Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, New York and Los Angeles. In her artist's statement, she captures her perspective beautifully: I have never believed that the characterizations of beauty and beast are mutually exclusive. Instead, I examine the conflict that exists between the inner and outer lives of human experience, between a person’s placid exterior and their churning, riotous core. I am drawn to stories of figures whose feral nature proves crucial to their survival. My practice blurs and transgress boundaries between the human and natural world. I am trying to disrupt, and at times subvert modernity. Through the work, I portray opposing forces, subjects matter both gentle and abrasive, fantastic and real, dangerous and safe.

While my external identity has shifted repeatedly, the stable core of my art has remained an exploration of past. How does the past shape all of us? Perhaps more importantly, how do we, in turn, alter our past so it can color our present? Altering recollection of the past is a form of metamorphosis: this is why I paint shape-shifters.

My earliest memories are of a dress shop that my father owned. For that reason, I have always been fascinated by the clothed body, and the interaction between exposed skin and covered flesh. I paint the bittersweet: what we mean not to lose. I sift through others’ old photographs, where I find images that I knit together with my own memories. When inspected closely, found photographs can reveal a deeper tension than what was intended. Desire, fragility, and insatiable yearning lurk beneath the surface of what we see. My work skims the underside of that hard lake.
Wescover creator since 2017

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