Dan’s Papers cover artist fave Sandra Bloodworth is back to talk about her latest creation, her work with MTA Arts & Design and more.
What was the inspiration for this piece?
The Dan’s Papers cover is a painting from “Intimate Feasts,” a series of paintings that are inspired by meals created with my husband, Fred May. These paintings capture moments shared with a few good friends, or when Fred and I dined alone. We, like most New Yorkers, have been very cautious during the pandemic and all of our meals have been with just the two of us. Now, as the winter holidays approach, we hope that people may find comfort in creating their own intimate feasts to share with the person or people in their close circle and to savor the time to connect and value each other. I imagine many of these feasts will be shared virtually as we embrace the safest ways to spend this year’s holidays.
Talk about your art style.
My work is realistic. My subjects, whether figurative, still life, or landscape, all have a strong likeness to the way they appear. Color and texture are important in my practice and I focus on the surface of things. Often the brushstroke itself is not visible. My paintings are of a light-filled space that often appear to be three-dimensional which, of course, is an illusion. I am fascinated with taking an ephemeral subject and making it tangible, as if you can touch it.
Tell us about your artistic process.
My process begins when I am inspired to capture a moment in time, whether it is a still life, landscape, or portrait. The work starts with a concept in mind. In many ways all of my works are portraits—often they portray a story of a time, a place, or a person. My intent is to capture that moment and create a sense of presence of that place or person, hopefully creating a sense that the viewer is also experiencing it or instills a desire to do so.
If you weren’t an artist what would you be doing?
Well, that’s an easy question as I have also been a full-time arts administrator throughout my career as an artist. I am the director of the public art program, MTA Arts & Design. My “day job” can be demanding, so there are times when it’s more difficult to find time to paint than at other times, but I have kept these two roles separate. Still, I do bring a certain amount of my experience in art and design to my role of creating art for the public.
What inspires you the most?
Art. Whether it is viewing art in a museum, or commissioning art for the public, art inspires me. The art could be transforming a public place or just providing a moment where one connects with it. I once heard an art collector, Mera Rubell, say she bought an artwork when she stood in front of it and experienced the same feeling of falling in love she had when she met her husband, Don. That was a familiar feeling and I thought that was a great way to describe how art can affect us when we experience its power.