Abstract art is open to interpretation and gives us the freedom to explore the artwork and assign our own meaning to each piece. This intensely personal process enriches our experience viewing non-representational work, and is one of the most beautiful aspects of the style.
Such is the journey when viewing the paintings by American contemporary abstract artist Sara Conca. Her vibrant works celebrate light, movement, and healing, using layered natural materials and textures to create immersive and constantly renewing landscapes.
Conca creates her signature, mixed media paintings in a distinctive process all her own - she paints in reverse, building the image from foreground to background in careful layers. This technique requires an intuitive and meditative approach, which she often attains by painting en plein air along the peaceful riverbank of her rural home.
Says Conca, "I make giving pieces - they create a connection between the viewer and the flow of the universe. Nature is a beautiful source for healing, and I draw on the organic beauty of my surroundings. My painting technique pushes these ideas even further. Traditionally, artists paint from back to front - creating their background, then middle ground, then foreground, controlling each step along the way. I paint in reverse on the back of a clear sheet of acrylic, so the first marks I put down are the foreground of the painting and there's no way to take back any mistakes. Therefore, I just accept them. I can have an image in my mind that I want to create. And being both ambidextrous and dyslexic, it's easier for me to think in reverse visually. Ultimately, I rely heavily on prayer and intuition s othat my idea awill come through and the right energies will jump in. By working in reverse, the artwork becomes pur and primal and has its own signature imprint.
Conca's art incorporates unconventional materials such as raw silver dust, 18k gold leafing, raw color pigments, mica flakes, natural crystals, wild elements like crushed BB pellets and more. Through this unique technique and material, Conca can deliver a metallic and painted flecked texture that instills her images with an exceptionally dynamic radiance. Each piece's appearance changes significantly according to its surrounding light, the movement and position of the observer, and other environmental factors - making for an ever-evolving and highly individual viewing experience.
Shares the artist, "My work is intended to instantaneously immerse the audience into the visual and emotional energies that I have devoted to each piece. Depending on one's ability and willingness to be guided by the senses, these paintings can lead one away from the mind and into an alternate and self-made reality filled with color and freedom."
Conca's dynamic art reflects her varied life and background. Descended from late-Baroque Italian painter Sebastiano Conca, whose work is on permanent exhibition at the Louvre and the Getty, Conca showed artistic talent early on. At seven years old, she could be found melting crayons with a burner onto a piece of wood to make her first abstract paintings. At 17, Conca was accepted at the Ateliers D'Art De St. Maur Des Fosses in Paris, France. While also beginning a long and successful career as a model, she received critical acclaim for her sculpture - drawing inspiration from the movement and energy of the city's art and cultural scene. As her artwork progressed and matured, she was accepted as an assistant of the critically lauded artist Purvis Young.
Conca's artworks are now housed in museums, universities, corporations, public installations, hotels, celebrity homes, and private collections across the globe.