About My Artwork

Angela Faustina and her Black Mission Fig VI, Lemon I, and Lemon II oil paintings at the From the Garden art exhibition.
Angela Faustina and her Black Mission Fig VI, Lemon I, and Lemon II oil paintings at the From the Garden art exhibition, 2016.

My oil paintings turn familiar kitchen scenes into in an arbitrary space where glistening, close-cropped fruit pulp becomes its own vibrant world. Hyper-magnifying the inside of ripe fruit in oil paint pays homage to traditional still life painting while distorting the genre. Varying the scale of my paintings and the species of fruit further heightens the enigma, blurring the boundaries between abstraction and representation, the microcosmic and macrocosmic, attraction and repulsion, and whimsy and the scientific. The imagery is readily identified as organic but from there it can take over the imagination.

My artwork reimagines and transforms iconic still life paintings. I exploit the beautiful, prosperous, fertile, tempestuous, and sensual symbolism and connotations fruit carries by preserving it at the peak of ripeness. Unlike memento-mori, a genre meaning “remember you must die”, I shield fruit from rot and decay. Its delicate organic structure, luscious colors, and contrasting juicy and pulpy textures will live forever in my work. The black backgrounds and edges are a nod to the backgrounds used at the height of still life painting in the 17th Century. The absolute-ness of the black also helps remove all context of time and place, giving a sense of otherworldliness to the imagery.

Its displacement may feel alien but the common subject matter serves as a connector across world culture. For example, the pomegranate has served as an important and overwhelmingly positive symbol for the cultures that propagated it for thousands of years. It represents beauty, abundance, and fertility in Jewish and Muslim beliefs, life and regeneration to Christians and Greeks, prosperity in Buddhism, and strength and eternal life to Persians.

The way food brings different societies together coupled with the bright, tropical hues of my paintings reminds me of growing up in multicultural South Florida. The unfamiliarity of the fruit imagery can elicit contemporary issues about American food culture and the prevalence of processed food.

The interconnectedness of organic life is another theme I ponder while painting. The interiors of fruit echo the forms and textures of human viscera: displaced fig seeds and gooey citrus pulp can resemble blood cells and neurons or the intestinal tract to the unfamiliar. It’s not just ego that puts humanity into the painting. Although the subject matter is consistently fruit, the scale of my paintings often physically relates to the body. My smallest paintings are about the size of my hand, while my widest paintings are about the size of my arm span.

My paintings are a weird, quiet moment in the hectic energy of modern life.

My artwork is internationally collected and has been featured in exhibitions in the United States, Italy, and Portugal since 2006. I am currently represented by gallery43 in Roswell, Georgia, and Colorida Gallery in Lisbon, Portugal. Last year I was invited to show my work in Ripe, a solo exhibition at Harmony Gallery in Sarasota, Florida, and From the Garden, a three-person exhibition in Historic Norcross, Georgia. They were awarded by jury and funded by The Sarasota Orchestra and City of Norcross, respectively. 

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Angela Faustina cursive signature