ANGELA DEANE IS AN AMERICAN ARTIST THAT MODIFIES OLD PHOTOGRAPHS WITH VERY PARTICULAR TECHNIQUES. DISCOVER HER ART WORKS FOR REDMILK!
Who is Angela?
I’m an American artist born to an Italian mother (ciao Auronzo!) who’s been back and forth between New York City and Florida but currently calls Baltimore, Maryland home.
Where do you search the old photos?
When I first had the idea for this series I was at an art residency in a small town in New Mexico and was introduced to a man who collected found photos. He had a full garage of boxes piled upon boxes! I bought a box from him and generally still prefer to find these photos while physically at estate sales and second hand shops, though I also purchase many from eBay.
How did it start the idea of painting on photos, especially figures like ghosts or monsters?
I had always thought of my memories as ghosts that travel with me. My ghost from yesterday, my ghost from five years ago, my ghost from that night I told him I loved him, etc… Starting down at these photographs the idea hit me – what if I painted on top of the people in the photo so as to remove their identity so that I might share in that memory? So that I could imagine it was my yesterday? An hour into painting them I looked down and felt I had really stumbled onto something great. So simple, yet so powerful. And playful too.
Do you believe in spirits?
I think I do although I haven’t seen any myself and don’t really like the idea of them “haunting” us, etc… Nor does it bring me much comfort to imagine my grandmother might be around me as a spirit really. I more believe in energies that linger…souls that stick around and then metamorphosize.
I mainly like the idea/the visualization of “ghost” as a metaphor for memory, for experience, for feeling.
What are memories for you?
Like precious little cinemas. Private yet public when shared. Sacred yet ever changing in re-experiencing/re-membering. I’ve always been a nostalgic person and must admit I adore pondering memories and how we carry them with us.
What arouses in you a picture? What power does it have?
The space between the subjects. The words you can feel imbued in the wordless image. I love high contrast in a photo and rich colors. I tend to like color photos over black and white. I like the beauty found in a kitsch bright snapshot. Not meant to be artful but yet turns into art effortlessly.
Do you think photos can be immortal?
Hmm. I don’t know if I’ve thought of this before. Interesting. I think no. They are temporal likely in the long spectrum of humanity’s time here. Certainly in a generation they can be – especially that before the digital age. Take Marilyn Monroe standing over the sidewalk grate in her white dress. It has legs of it’s own in our culture now. Though in one hundred years time? I’m not sure.
Do you work on commission?
I have before, yes! Though Ive never painted upon any of my own family members I have done so for some special clients.
Your next projects?
I’m deep into a series inspired by the ghosts of transforming vintage postcards of flowers with paint. Those have lead to giant canvases of snarling roses etc., and I am loving seeing them large scale and from scratch. I’m also into a series with lots of metallics and adorned creatures. Gold, more gold and neon! This is the year for me to go big on canvas! But always at night I like to do a handful of small pieces too, so the ghosts shall endure, for now. Immortal in this moment. :)
Photos courtesy of the artist