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Audrey Frank Anastasi Gallery: The Pleasure of Paint

By Elisha Neubauer

When it comes to exploring artistic possibilities, Audrey Frank Anastasi has found a way to change the way she approaches art: through an unusual technique. Although Anastasi has been creating art for as long as she can recall, she decided to give up the use her right hand for the challenge of utilizing her left, non-dominant hand; giving her work a fresh outlook and allowing her to focus on each and every brush stroke. Anastasi is a curator, gallery owner/director, educator, and arts advocate.

When asked how to categorize her art, Anastasi responds, "It's difficult to select one category to describe my art because I work in a number of different genres, media, styles, and subject matter. However, one of the unifying factors, whether working figuratively or from nature, is a pursuit and respect for authenticity." She believes that there are as many characteristics, motivations, messages, and inspirations in being an artist as there are individuals practicing the art form.

"For me, the word 'express,' meaning 'to push out,' is fundamental," explains Anastasi. "Although a viewer may be interested in how a work defines truths particular to our culture, I feel there is a deeper hunger for art to reveal timeless, universal, humanistic truths." She goes on to explain how this contributed to the decision to switch to her non-dominant hand.

"Much of the reason for painting with my non-dominant left hand, working rapidly, and with oversize brushes, is to keep the process fresh, essential, spontaneous, immediate, even risky. And I think that the process of how one physically lays down the paint translates visually to the freshness of the image. Besides the subject that is represented in an artwork, looking at the paint itself can be a pure pleasure."

Anastasi's subjects range from nature to the human face. Many of her portraits focus on women- painted from life, but larger than life size- with an eye toward the psychological interior of the subject. "Clearly my subjects have as strong an inner life, as they do a physical presence," she says. Anastasi often works with paint- but also creates drawings, incorporates calligraphy into her works, and even does political pieces using collage on currency.

Having been involved with the art world for several decades, Anastasi has had the pleasure of exhibiting her work not only in Sunset Park, Brooklyn where her art gallery is, but also across the United States and even across the world. Besides conventional commercial galleries, museums and nonprofit art spaces, Anastasi's works have been exhibited in churches, corporate lobbies, and private venues.

"Generally, I have felt well appreciated when my art is on display," says Anastasi. "And, because acquiring a work of art is a joy, and not one of life's necessities, when an artwork sells, it's always gratifying to have made that connection."

"Forest Nocturne"
"Twins", Micael & Tracey O'Connell Collection (painted right-handed)

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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