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Sheila Elias


2020, Mixed media on paper, 21 x 20 in

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“Best known as a painter, and as a colorist, a strong graphic sensibility also undergirds my work, whether abstract or figural-making a mark with often volatile, rough-hewn representations of the observed world, augmented with collage and even glitter. I have painted (and pasted, and constructed) with a loaded brush ever since my student days at the Art Institute of Chicago. Then, I was responsive to Pop art for its color and its fealty to reality, but infused that “cool” approach with the far more emphatic, “hot” gestures of the abstract expressionists. Since then, there has been a transformation in my art through the digital age and I decided to venture into the realm of technology, by creating a new vision on the iPad. With the use of a finger I began to discover a new way of painting: through pixels. My studio has grown to include digital work. Becoming a name in the Apple community only strengthened my conviction to continue exploring in this new medium. Recently The Lowe Museum, University of Miami showed me for five months showcasing 30 of my interactive iPad paintings and I was part of an exhibition in Lake Como, Italy about art depicting the interference that technology plays in our lives.

My work is about the layers of life and art history, seeking in it a connection between art aesthetics and social consciousness. American sensibilities have influenced my life, the hues of my country found in the colors of my art. I like to bring an awareness of new directions and individual inventiveness.

During the pandemic it felt like we were in an alternate universe, deeply concerned that COVID was watching us. These paintings reflect the harrowing times we have all lived. From losing loved ones, losing jobs and simply being alone, all of us suffered as we watched the world we once knew turn on its axis to become a new reality marred in fear, distrust and isolation which deeply affects the human spirit.”

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