By Jenna Weis
The artwork of Gina Altadonna illustrates her own past experiences that, at the same time, also unite most people who face insecurities in today’s society. Through images of various animals and self portraits, this artist uses the expression of art to demonstrate a narrative connection between the two and then forces the viewer to ponder their own experiences. In a world where so much of what we do or how we think of ourselves is subconsciously regulated by others, here we have someone who is creatively taking control. With contemplation, time, and fearlessness to exhibit her inner wounds, visually compelling art is produced.
Altadonna received her BFA in Drawing and Painting from Pennsylvania State University, where she immersed herself in the exploration of animals. Their symbolic nature has become the back bone of her art work and a recurring theme. She sates; “Animals allow me to visually personify my psychological wounds because they are something real, tangible, something that can be studied and examined, as well as understood.” Her art radiates with this need to showcase her struggles that every one of us has come face-to-face with at some point in our lives.
Her paintings display a literal comparison of herself to these animals in a diptych format, while mimicking their posture to emphasize this connection. The fantasy-like manipulation of her and the animals, and the lucent color palette will engage you to want to understand what is being presented to you. The same whimsical style can also be seen in her pen and ink drawings. With these pieces she and the animals are seamlessly morphed as one entity that is highly detailed and then let unfinished. She explains; “These moments give the viewer time and space to contemplate, finish the work themselves, as well as a glimpse of my technique.” Technique and the actual creative process, which is often left unseen in art, play a big role for the artist. “Patience, repetition, detail, and internal reflection, all become mantras to my art practice”, she says, and this is seen in every careful and thought-out detail that is fully being explored. This slow process allows her the space to evaluate her life experiences that bring forth beautifully rendered images.
Gina Altadonna’s work will be featured at SPARKBOOM‘s 2014 KICKOFF EVENT – “Beards, Bards and BOOM” on Saturday, June 21st, at The Walt Whitman Birthplace. For more info, visit sparkboom.org. RSVP to our FB event here.
To view more of Gina’s work, visit ginaaltadonna.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenna Weis grew up on Long Island and graduated from Commack High School in 2007. She received her Associates Degree in Visual Arts from Suffolk Community College then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. This is her second summer working for SPARKBOOMTM, first as Lead Blogger. She hopes the blog will really engage readers to want to see more of the artists work at our SPARKBOOMTM events and help further promote the artists themselves.