Yes, it’s true this woman is a genius in my book. When I look at a piece of Sharon Shapiro’s art work it takes me in and I don’t want to leave. I often wonder where her thoughts take her in order to inspire such creations. I would love to have just one of her day dreams in my life. Just one.
Tar and Feathers, 66″ x 55″, graphite powder, watercolor, and collage on paper, 2012
Her work challenges me to explore my thoughts a little deeper, even the uncomfortable ones. It is no wonder as Sharon states, “I’m drawn to opposing forces—subject matter that is both gentle and abrasive, clean and dirty, fantastic and real—especially as these play out in the social constructions of gender. My paintings start, and evolve, from the personal mythos of my memories. I cull images from a range of photographic sources; vintage material, photos I take of my daughter, family members, and friends, and photos that I come across from my past. My subjects are composites, sharing traits that are both male and female, childlike and adult, animal and human.”
Pulling The Wool, 55″ x 60″, graphite powder, watercolor, and collage on paper, 2011
For almost 20 years, Sharon Shapiro’s paintings and works on paper have been exhibited in numerous venues across the country, including solo shows in Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, New York, and a three person show in Los Angeles. Her work has been the subject of two major solo exhibitions with catalogues, one at Brenau University in Gainesville, GA (2007), and the other at Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA (2004). More recently, she was included in Playful Things: Examining the Role of Female Identity in Contemporary Art, a four-person exhibition at the University of Central Missouri documented by a hardbound catalog (2010).
Double Dutch, graphite, watercolor and collage on paper, 62″ x 56″, 2011
Shapiro has been awarded residencies at the Ucross Foundation (2012), the Virginia Center for Creative Arts (2012, 2009), and the Hambidge Artist Residency Program (2011) and is a past recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship (2001). In 2012, curator Liza Simone (Founding Director of Phantom Galleries in Los Angeles) selected her drawing for a second place award in the 49th Annual Juried Competition at the Masur Museum of Art in Monroe, LA and her work was also chosen by Rita Gonzalez (associate curator of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) for the catalog that accompanied the exhibit Momentum: 40 years of the Women’s Caucus of Art in Los Angeles.
Emperor’s New Clothes, 56″ x 54″, graphite powder, collage, and colored pencil on paper, 2012
Shapiro’s work has been selected for three issues of New American Paintings, including a 15th anniversary edition featuring the best painters of their history (2010). Her work is in a number of important collections throughout the United States, such as those of The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) and the Tullman Collection, Chicago, IL. Shapiro has a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art and is currently based in Louisa, VA.
Vixen, 24″ x 20″, acrylic on canvas, 2011
Glory, 12″ x 10″, acrylic on canvas, 2006
The main reason I wrote this article is because I really love art and Sharon’s latest work just floored me. Art in itself is the epitome of sustainability because it never dies. At least in my house it won’t! I love that Sharon uses water based paints and vintage materials in her work and collages. I feel blessed to own a piece of Sharon Shapiro’s art and look forward to watching her evolve for many years to come. Visit Sharon Shapiro here www.sharonshapiro.com or on her FACEBOOK page.
Jewel Box, collage on paper, 12″ x 12″, 2011