JESSICA SNOW AND ANYA SPIELMAN
Having both been born in Berkeley in the Sixties, we’ve witnessed the changing tides of the California lifestyle first hand. Countercultural resistance is part of life in Northern California, and as a result, we don’t have a taste for the status quo or conventional ideas. As artists, the color in our paintings reflects our renegade spirit. Resisting convention and disobeying normative color practices has been the driving force behind our artistic practices ever since we studied together at UC Davis.
Another thing about living in California, not related but important to mention, is the multi-faceted light along the Pacific Coast. It changes from one minute to the next, almost constantly. Light, color, temperature, and atmosphere shift around us all the time, and this flux plays out in our paintings, albeit somewhat differently. Living near the coast, the fog, sun, haze, smoke, and smog (and hopefully some rain occasionally) affect one’s perception of color. Our painting process is grounded in the nuanced apperception of such phenomena, and though we are working in different parts of the state (Jessica in San Francisco and Anya in Los Angeles) our sensibilities and reaction to the shifting light of the sky, the ocean, and the land of our home state inevitably plays into our paintings, all the while amped up by the playful, anarchic freedom that defines us and our work.
Badass Color is also a reference to the adventures we have had together spanning three decades since we met in the art department at UC Davis in 1984. We have exhibited together, traveled together and have received the American Artists Abroad Award from the US Department of State to travel to Uruguay where we served as Art Ambassadors. We have an ongoing dialogue regarding the processes inherent in our art making. Although we each have distinctive work, we share an obsession with color as evident in our paintings. At times, our paintings even seem to volley back and forth with ontological dialogues (ones we have in person all the time) that seep into our work.
Jessica’s new body of work, the ‘Terra Incognita’ series, takes the urban environment as the point of departure, and how one navigates the space of the city, especially one made unfamiliar through the constant change of development. This series is about both getting lost and mapping a way through a cityscape, and it is her tribute to the city of Paris, painted from afar.
Anya’s new work plumbs the constellation of binary forces and forms. The tension and juxtaposition of these dualities hint at two separate realms of experience. Her use of reds and pinks link to flesh and blood, and the pale creams, yellows and blues in her palette recall the pulse of life and sex. Her inquiry lies in the excavation process of layering and dissecting form and language – the strata of conscious and unconscious thought.