Art of decay
Last week, there was an artist in town that put a different perspective on wall art. She actually draws the walls.
“It’s all about finding nontraditional beautiful things and finding what is beautiful and honoring them,” said Jessica Maffia, an artist from New York City.
Her work appreciates decay, Maffia explained, much like the Japanese concept called Wabi-Sabi, an idea that centers on imperfection.
Maffia was only in New York Mills for one week, staying at the Cultural Center’s art house. She timed her residency with the winter break at the NY City school she teaches at. With a Master’s degree in education, Maffia teaches English as a second language on a part-time basis. Her true love is art.
For the last three years, Maffia has been concentrating on her wall series. Everywhere she goes, especially in New York City’s subway system, Maffia snaps photos of walls. She has thousands of photos of potential walls she could draw. Every once in awhile she’ll flip through her photo collection, pulling out those that no longer interest her. Photos that she comes back to again and again, are the walls she draws. So far, Maffia has drawn 30 wall photos, most of which are very large.
Most of her completed work is done with graphite pencils. During four different residencies through the last several months Maffia began experimenting with colored pencils.
“Colored pencils totally changed the nature of the work,” said Maffia, as she scrolled through photos on her phone. Pulling up examples, the graphite pieces are dark images, completely black and white. The colored pencil piece though was popping with color.
During most of her week long stay, Maffia could be found at the center’s upstairs studio space. She stood before a large paper canvas (44”x60”) that was taped to the wall. Using small, quick strokes, Maffia worked on a realistic pencil drawings of wall she saw in Mexico. Though her goal was to reach the halfway point, Maffia said things were going well and it looked like she would go even further. read entire story. . . .