Art by Angela S. Gay

The shapes and space I create on my canvas have so much life, past and present. They have memory, fear, strength, possibility, hurt, love, loss, balance, desire, and trust. The contours you see describe me and where my soul has been. Each one different yet still starting and stopping at the same place, expressing new and familiar experiences. The shapes themselves describe me, but the space outside the lines is where you will find me, grasping blindly for reason and chaos. No one ever thinks to look there.

Take away the structure of the shapes on my canvas but leave in tact everything it holds, what do you see now? This is where I will breathe and die, over and over for eternity.

Painting for me is the ability to communicate with the other side and interpret a combination of my emotions and theirs. My need to create begins with a pull at the center of my core where I find myself spending hours spreading color, timelessness, and stories. Stories that the souls around me share, using my canvas as the vehicle to say what we are both wanting to say. I find comfort in their memories, as they are not mine, and mold the two together until I find a balance of expression.

The texture seen in my work is the attempt to create emotion that refuses to be contained and thus removes itself from its stagnant place of being ‘simply there’.


angela-s-gayThe riveting, haunting abstract compositions of California-born, Memphis-based artist Angela S. Gay are informed by very personal, painful experiences that inform each work with poignant depth. These emotions are in turn echoed by the sharp, clearly defined lines of the artist’s preferred tool for application, the palette knife. The oil paintings boast intricate and subtle interactions between three formal elements: smoothed backdrops that vacillate between diffuse and shifting color fields, canopies of thick strokes of paint, and light-filled gradients; web- and diagram-like networks of lines traced by a knife; and thick, sculptural clumps of paint. The relationships between these three components shift constantly and dynamically, with changing light bringing different lines and tones to the fore, transforming the composition.

Above all, Angela S. Gay’s work suggests vivid moments of clarity — emotional, historical, intellectual, or otherwise — emerging from a chaotic field of possibilities crisscrossed by connective lines. Her gripping and versatile oil paintings portray our universal impulse to create continuity and meaning out of vastly disparate and seemingly unrelated events, information, and feelings. The result is a series of investigations that are irresistibly engaging and evocative.

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