Piece description from the artist
This painting is part of a series in which I am focusing on the act of wearing a face mask; a small piece of fabric connecting the world, strengthening our fight against an invisible enemy, but at the same time making us feel different. I want to emphasize the opportunity for self expression, strength and unity that a face mask can represent.
Incorporating symbols of strength in the copper patina background and amplifying the vibrant details in my subjects, I want to highlight the role we can all embrace in combatting this world crisis together.
Each piece is a labor of love that starts with white vinegar and salt on a copper panel, graphite drawing studies, gesso with watercolor underpaintings, drilling and filing copper to allow for the mask fabric to pass through. That is all before I pick up my oil brushes. To get a photo realistic effect, I use traditional renaissance approaches of many thin layers of opposing oil colors and tiny brushes.
Danielle Festa first began exploring the dimensions of personality constructs developed by clothing at the University of Amherst Massachusetts as a Fine Arts major. In her thesis work, she started incorporating textiles in combination with her traditional oil painting techniques. Since graduating in 2007, she has been painting and exhibiting in the New England area. Recently, she has moved to a studio at the Washington Street Mills in Dover, NH after working out of Somerville, MA for nearly a decade. Experimenting with the mixed media application of fabrics and oil paints, she continues to develop her evolving theme: the perception of dress. Danielle has shown her work in over 40 exhibitions from the Boston area to New York City to Oslo, 14 of which were solo shows in non-commercial galleries. She is also the recipient of the Boston Biennial Gold Painting Award in 2009 and the Somerville Arts Council Fellowship Grant in 2013.