Sasha Napoli

Beginning with an abstraction of the human form framed by architectural features of an interior space, I question the threshold between the painterly mark and the creation of an entire image. I explore materiality, specifically the application and interaction of paint upon a surface. By manipulating the viscosity and transparency of the paint, mark-making, materiality and complementary colours become the basis of my paintings. Thick coats of paint conceal, while light glazes and scratching reveal what is underneath, creating both an illusion of depth through layering and drawing attention to the painting’s inherent flatness.

My concern with the painterly mark and interior space is interlaced with an interest in the Baroque fusion of painting and sculpture in ceiling frescoes; sculpture was used to emphasise the illusory nature of painting and extend it beyond a single surface. I take this notion and combine it with an exploration of the contemporary concept of the Expanded Field of Painting, where the idea of pluralism is applied and processes, such as sculpture or installation, are merged with painting.

Inspired by this, I draw on more physical processes: I manipulate the shape of the canvas, both loose and on the frame, challenging the idea of a painting contained within a rectangular or square frame. I also extract and fragment shapes from the painting and extend them into space with materials such as painted cardboard. These physical processes create a partial visual block to the painting, engaging the viewer, and encouraging them to fluctuate between a passive observation of the entire piece and looking through, or walking around these visual blocks to view the painting in detail. My paintings, therefore, extend beyond their frame to inhabit the room as an object.

Ultimately, my practice questions whether it is possible to embrace and
maintain the inherent qualities of painting whilst combining them with a more sculptural methodology, transforming the painting into an object.

Instagram: @sashanapoliart