My exhibition explores the idea of seeing a person through their lived space and the idea of making “home” at a transitional stage in life. I began this work with the basic idea of wanting to do portraits, specifically of young women who I know and who are important to my life. Even in the early stages I was paying a lot of attention to the rooms around them. The space where someone lives is extremely personal and telling about who they are. These paintings are a chance to depict an intimate and self-made place.
This is especially interesting to me if the surroundings are imperfect and messy, showing them used and lived in. The domestic when it is in disarray; when it is not necessarily being maintained for anyone else, functions primarily as a place of self-expression and comfort. Objects have always been interesting to me and have the ability to tell a story of situation or to hold memory. They importantly help communicate identity. Beyond being an extension of the person pictured, the stuff itself is compelling. I often paint cluttered scenes in tight spaces. I like the interaction of lots of different patterns, textures and objects (those that are meaningful and those that are disposable).
Our relationships to material items have changed dramatically from the time of earlier paintings that dealt primarily with objects (Dutch vanitas paintings or traditional still lives). So much of the stuff we interact with is disposable and there is so much more of it. In light of this, portraying objects in a cramped way makes sense (and is more intuitive to me). Showing people in the spaces they have made for themselves is about showing them and their relationship to their things, showing how they live and about our contemporary culture.
The Space We Make
Alison Cofrancesco is a painter from New Haven, CT. Her other interests include philosophy and literature, specifically feminist works that deal with socialization and the domestic. Her current exhibition deals with interior space and concepts of home. She has also worked with imagery around abandoned sites in and around New Haven. Her abstract paintings deal with the natural landscape in the same region. She has studied at Trinity College and the New York Studio School with a focus on oil painting.
© 2020 Alison Cofrancesco