Diane Levesque

Dancing Bear and Savoyard
2018
Acrylic on canvas
48" x 40"

New work from The Penny Dreadful Series

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My artistic practice involves an overlapping series of paintings and drawings that focus on themes such as the link between close readings of favorite texts/authors and the philosophy of existentialism (The Existentialists Series), creating a mythology around the identity of my deceased father (The Adventures of the Lonely Man Series), and my current reinterpretation of Staffordshire figures produced between 1810 – 1835 (The Penny Dreadfuls Series).
From my study of Staffordshire figures, I began to exaggerate the implied violence and sexuality of the themes through the amplification of the gaudy colors and randomness of the paint application to heighten the decorative motifs. By removing the quaint aura and sentimentality of the original figures, I discovered a visual rupture that functions as comical social commentary.
My intent over the years has not changed. I still seek to uncover meaning in various forms by sharing my fascinations with things unusual, beautiful, strange, dark, light, uncanny, familiar, wise and foolish.
There is satisfaction that comes from trying to understand the complexities of our lives that enlarges a way of being, seeing, and feeling by which we gain knowledge and insight into ourselves and the world we live in.