Marta Whistler – News and Events


July 18th, 2015

Join the party July 18th on the square in downtown Easton, PA at Brick and Mortar’s second exhibition, as Tom D’Angelo and Chaz Hampton are pairing concurrent solo shows: “The Unusual World of Marta Whistler” and Adriano Farinella’s “Equilibria”. Tom says that it “felt right to present an Abstract Symbolist such as Marta next to Adriano, a realist, landscape painter.” Seeing them together focuses our attention on the abstract qualities of Adriano’s vision, and the realistic sources of Whistler’s imaginative inventions.

Marta Whistler distills remembered expressions–the eyes, faces and gestures of the people she meets. Her cropped and cleverly draped or posed figures moodily inhabit a dreamlike space, drawing from European influences such as: Surrealism, the COBRA artists from the 50’s, Jean Dubuffet, Matisse, Picasso and Max Beckmann. Color delivers the first punch but Marta’s clever injection of Native American, Eskimo, and Slavic symbols (among others) as decor is pleasantly disconcerting. In one untitled painting, a black and white Maltese Falcon character abuts a reconstructed head of a male figure, conveying ease and awkwardness simultaneously. Her success is due to the masterful use of composition. Marta reinvents our world, peopling it with hybrid characters that are part objet d’art and part human. Her symbols, organic forms and marks seem to evolve before our eyes, changing and shifting their meanings, and reaffirming the richness of life by being temporary, irreplaceable and thoroughly unique.

In a parallel way of thinking, every cloud that Adriano Farinella commits to paint feels one-of-a-kind, almost human in its individuality. His show “Equilibria” captures balance, symmetry or stability at the odd moments when these begin to be disrupted. Naturalistic color, composition and tone feel perfectly balanced within the confines of each canvas; yet, Adriano is stretching to show a bit more. Elusive moments that we all know from real weather are so dramatic–the sky can suddenly brighten as a single cloud moves; colors appear; or shapes balloon in ways one could never predict. Adriano’s new work attempts to mirror these surprises in his painting process by embracing imbalance and the uncontrollable nature of paint.

As Farinella slips further into abstraction, his clouds seem to morph as smoothly as Whistler’s mysterious, abstract symbols evolve into figures or play behind them. In short, the show pairs two artists who bronco-bust the idea of change.