Ariel Freiberg‘s paintings intrigue and implore, exaggerate and embellish, all the while eliciting “a bit of an adrenaline rush.” Here, she invites us into her studio – and as collaborators on her new project.
My Dream Harvester community arts project is an open forum for accounts of dreams from slumber or wished aspirations. Dream Harvester and I will be live and dreaming at ArtBeat, July 16th in Davis Square from 11 AM to 6 PM, part of the Somerville’s festival of music, performance art, craft vendors, dance, theater, food, and more.
Once I harvest the dreams of the visitors of ArtBeat (and I invite you to join in), I will create visual representations of the collective accounts. These works will be shared online and exhibited in the Boston area (location yet to be determined).
Art can draw on the unconscious collective ideas of our time. I would like to investigate this further by expanding my usual private process of working in the studio by harvesting a collection of my communities’ dreams. Through the visual translation of these accounts, I hope to highlight the connective tissues of thought through our global village.
My art practice is, in part, an invitation to the viewer into a visual and conceptual dialogue with the narrative of my personal experiences and observations.
I am working on a new series of paintings of gardening tools and shoes. The ideas for this work have been percolating in my head for the past year and have infiltrated my drawings and several small paintings on panel. I see the gardening tools paired with shoes as signals to the viewer of the tension between sexuality within the natural world and human narratives.
With all of my work, I crave to break the ground of tradition, revealing an unconscious second language. I work the soil, trying to find the meaning behind beauty’s seduction. The second language speaks to our bodies, in unfamiliar spaces, pushing expectations of what is seen and what is felt.
Here you can see a couple of the small panel works.
My process also involves the sorting and collecting of reference materials. Reference materials can involve objects like shoes and colored papers and photos from fashion magazines and drawings from models. I draw from all these forms, combining them into a two-dimensional image. I prefer to work all of the space and forms out by hand. This process helps me understand what I really feel about these forms and how color and touch can correspond with those emotions. I also draw great inspiration from many Rocco artists for their use of color and space. Watteau’s psychological landscapes inform the environments of my paintings. Sometimes I employ Italian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s use of space, so the viewer has the sensation of being in the painting.
Here are some images of my workspace and my latest large canvas. I usually build my own frames from poplar and I use canvas that I prime with both acrylic and oil grounds.
Photographed here are objects that are the subjects of the work in progress.
While creating this setup, I deliberately ripped the photos and papers. For some of the small paintings on panel, I ripped up some recent woodcut prints. I’ve also experimented with color and form in watercolors.
I see the trowels and cultivators breaking ground that expose the internal trauma. These paintings of gardening tools and shoes in various scales, earthing the ground, contrast subterranean fantastical groundless environments of my earlier works.
Ariel will attend ArtBeat at Davis Square in Somerville, July 16, 11 AM to 6 PM, to discuss and “harvest” dreams from ArtBeat attendees.
Images: all images courtesy of the artist. Photos by Ariel Freiberg, Ralph Pennel, and Chris Yeager.