My work seeks to capture this Duality.
Whether I am painting landscapes or people, I deliberately seek out opposition and discordance. My work must have elements that are jarring, aggressive, and downright ugly when singled out, but that ideally harmonize within the piece as a whole. I want to show how integral what we might think of as “flaws” are to the beauty and complexity of the artwork, and then maybe as a society, we might start changing the very perception of beauty and stop what I think is the homogenization of aesthetics.
For me, painting is a very intimate process. A lot of thought and emotion goes into my work. Whatever is going on in my life at the time a piece is created is channeled directly into the painting and will influence the choice of color palette, the types of markings and brushwork that are etched into the canvas, and even the choice of subject matter. I don’t think I could paint without that intimacy, without leaving something of myself on the canvas, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
About Pia Pownall
I’m an American-born artist who grew up in the South of France. The pastoral setting of Provence and the coastal seascapes of the Mediterranean were the backdrop of my childhood. The magic and idyllic beauty of these sceneries left lasting impressions that have influenced both my choice of subject matter and the lens through which I see the world around me.
My parents often took me and my two siblings out of school to travel, believing exposure to a rich array of cultures and sceneries was the best supplement to formal education. Those adventures seeded in me a deep curiosity for humanity. I delved into art, philosophy, and psychology seeking to understand the people and world around me, as well as my place within this world. This passion for humanity and for greater understanding is still at the core of everything I endeavor, both creatively and spiritually.
I went on to study acting and had a prolific stage and film career but still felt artistically restless. I yearned for a more direct creative outlet, one I would have more artistic control over, from concept to completion. I was living in New York at the time and there happened to be an art store in my building. I walked in, picked up some paints and a canvas, and started to play. What started as an outlet quickly turned into a career.
I am a self-taught painter so I am constantly learning and experimenting. The world of art is always being redefined, so who knows how my work and artistic voice will evolve as I discover and incorporate new materials and technologies. The only constant I hope to keep is the curiosity and enthusiasm that drive me to create.