Amy Cella


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Amy Cella
About the author

I paint primarily in traditional oils, using square canvases and limited color palettes inspired by the urban environment of San Francisco and my memories of growing up in the Pacific Northwest. My current work builds on the history of the grid and challenges its previous meaning by utilizing intentional visual obstacles (grids, squares and rectangles in grey paint, placed in front or on top of emotionally resonant abstract underpaintings) to explore the way we engage with physical, cultural and psychological barriers. As in real life, these obstacles have the paradoxical effect of simultaneously impairing and enhancing the viewer's experience of the painting; the very fact that the underlying image is partially blocked from view means the viewer has to slow down, actively engage with and pay attention to what remains visible. At the same time, the fact that the obstacles are obviously painted after and on top of prior levels forces a consideration of the painting itself as a physical object existing in space and time, rather than just a carrier for the image it contains. Thus, the barrier becomes a tool for greater rather than lesser understanding, and the viewer becomes a participant in their experience rather than merely a spectator to it.