Collection: Sandra Manzi


I am driven by the excitement of the act of painting and a search for freshness in an age-old medium.  The more technologically advanced we get as a society the more we loose our connection with nature and to our humanity. Within my paintings I'm searching for a balance or harmony, both literally and aesthetically, to live with technology. Digital imaging software has become increasingly significant as not only a compositional device in my work but also as an integral part conceptually. What links these paintings is a fascination in the combining, layering, and fragmenting of images. My intention by doing this is to create metaphor which often has to do with our current technological, industrial, and digital world and how it effects our connection with nature and our more basic human qualities.

My work is born out of a desire to synthesize, and hence create a dialogue between, the contemporary digital image with the methods and techniques of the traditional painted image. By exploring this intersection between digital media and painting, I'm attempting to break free from the expected depiction of subject matter - such as portraiture, florals, the female figure, and landscapes; that we often see from the cannon of art history. My paintings often allude to the esthetics of digital collage in the way that the images look like they are layered transparencies over each other. I layer a dense collection of images which have been reconfigured through digital technology. They often include the female figure, flora, synthetic materials such as aluminum foil, and parts from our urban environment. These images are often obscured by manipulating and disrupting the image with multiple layers in order to heighten the senses and to create different layers of interpretation. The subject matter in my new series of paintings has attracted artists for thousands of years. Flowers are a universal symbol of things such as femininity, love, and the impermanence of beauty and earthly life – themes which I use as a metaphor in my work. I combine photographic source material with images and textures from the natural, synthetic, and digital world, to create paintings that add a slightly different way that these themes have been expressed in the past and how they now relate to our experiences living in contemporary society.

My process involves manipulating the various states of transparency in the overlay of different photographs. By layering one thing with the appearance of another I am particularly interested in getting the viewer to succumb to their imagination and to the various layers of meaning and interpretation. I am attracted to the challenge involved in painting the detail in these images, and in the mystery and the tension created. I intentionally distort realistically painted images and create paintings that are dense with information making the main image unclear, thus forcing the viewer to really look and connect both emotionally and visually.