FOUND IN TRANSLATION
A three-artist showcase
An artist’s interpretation of subject matter is one element that makes artwork distinctive. In the upcoming show Found in Translation at Abend Gallery in Denver, Suchitra Bhosle, Natalia Fabia and Jennifer McChristian bring their viewpoints to the figure and landscapes. They weave in personal narratives, as well as turn to the greater world for inspiration.
McChristian will display figures, landscapes and narrative scenes pulled from places she has traveled—Europe, Africa, the Caribbean—and her home of Southern California.
“The theme/idea behind these new works is that there is a common thread hidden under the layers of paint, which ties all the disparate places and paradigms together,” she explains. “As the viewer’s mind works to translate the foreign subject matter they will find an internal place revealing the essence and character of a person that they recognize as familiar, or the nostalgia and sense of belonging and history of a place/location that is as known to them as their hometown.”
Her piece Home is Where the Sun Is was inspired by a winter trip to Aruba. “My husband, Ben, and I were doing some leisurely sightseeing off the beaten path throughout the small island, and I was intrigued in particular by the weathered and worn structures that were so humble, spartan and conveyed a simple life,” McChristian recalls. “The intense, sun-filled light on the crumbling white plaster against the backdrop of a rich, blue sky gave me a sense of nostalgia and timelessness, which at the same moment reminded me of how fleeting life is.”
Bhosle began her newest collection with a focus on the dynamism of gestural figures and faces, but it evolved into something beyond the technique. “What I did find coming through was the portrayal of my subjects’ inner truth—the pure spirits of my models—and it felt right to chase that fleeting feeling as a theme for this collection,” she says.
The expressions depicted in Bhosle’s paintings help convey those inner truths, with no barriers, facades or guises. There is also the notion of accepting one’s own unique qualities—“it could be a longing for someone or something, a bold attitude or individual or just some beau-
tiful, sensual energy that can arrest the viewer in seeking his or her own truth.”
Her painting Attitude in Diaphanous portrays the model in an out-of-theordinary pose. “What was striking when I began this painting was nothing to do with the beauty of the female form that was emanating out of every pore of that visual image, but how the classical and ethereal spirit of her bold inner aura was more dominant than the tactile beauty,” Bhosle shares. “These are moments as an artist we all feel blessed to experience and hope to express on our canvas.”
Fabia’s artwork for Found in Translation was all created within the last year and has elements of painting from life in her studio. “After my daughter was born, I rededicated myself to my passion, painting from life rather than photo reference,” she says. “My models are my friends who are amazing, strong women—many are yogis or also artists. When I cannot find anyone to pose, I paint myself and, of course, my favorite muse of all is my daughter.”
Creating work that is classically driven with the influence of contemporary themes, Fabia often incorporates elements that fascinate her such as colorful environments, fashion, cosmos and light. “Exploration of these elements in relationships, friendships, solidarity and play fuels my paintings,” she says. “My 5-year-old daughter is a huge inspiration; she is uninhibited when she draws and paints. I strive to regain some of that in my work. I often let her paint in the backgrounds of my paintings.”
Brandi Buns depicts Fabia’s friend and artist, Brandi Milne, who she painted from life in her studio. “In this painting I’ve chosen to portray Brandi in jewel-tone colors and bright, natural light, inspired by whimsical themes we both enjoy,” Fabia explains. “Her hair is typically down, almost covering her face, so I painted her with her hair in a bun, showing her in a more vulnerable way—representing what fragile and unguarded creatures we are.”
Found in Translation will be on view September 1 to 29, with a reception on opening night from 6 to 9 p.m.
1Suchitra Bhosle, Attitude in Diaphanous, oil on panel, 16 x 12"2Suchitra Bhosle, Edge of Desire, oil, 8 x 6"3Natalia Fabia, Brandi Buns, oil on panel, 12 x 12"4Jennifer McChristian, Home is Where the Sun Is, oil on panel, 8 x 10"