Robert Striffolino’s paintings exude an intriguing beauty that entrances viewers. Striffolino’s combination of deep, vivid colors with a focus on the expression and emotion of a piece convey a unique and personal view of his subject matter.
“Tree Squeeze #2”
The self-taught artist, who after what he describes as losing his center and vision, took a cross-country backpacking trip that eventually landed him in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Striffolino found the experiences he had in nature on his trip to be spiritual ones, an explanation that sheds light on his emotive landscapes.
In addition, the mysterious and captivating qualities of his paintings are further understood through Striffolino’s descriptions of the journeys he goes through with each of his pieces. He explains that a relationship exists between himself and the canvas, and it is through the give and take of himself with the paints that a subject drifts away from a literal interpretation and becomes an emotional and intimate representation.
The artist explains,
“My painting is not about the formal elements of which it is comprised, nor the subject matter of the landscape, but about something more spiritual. A successfully executed painting must reach further – beyond the abstract or representational – into an intimate spirituality brought about by an individual way of seeing things. In that unique expression is something that relates to the “human experience,” despite the passage of time. It is why we can look at a hundred year old painting and say “yes, I know this.” This has nothing to do with trends or commercialism and everything to do with art.”
It is the emotion and feeling Striffolino puts into his pieces that allow viewers to truly connect to his work. The fact that Striffolino works from emotion makes his work accessible to others because humankind can understand and appreciate the shared feelings and emotions we as a species experience.
Not only does Striffolino paint from a spiritual and emotional connection with his subjects, but also creates his works with intention, making each decision on purpose. He states,
“When I paint, I bring my whole history of painting with me. But if I push too hard or too fast, I might not bring my heart and soul with me. It’s better for me to move slowly.”
Perhaps Striffolino’s approach to painting is a good approach to the everyday life. Rather than worrying about the next brushstroke, moment, or day, if one can live each moment on purpose and truly experience the beauty all around, slowly and consciously moving through life, it is possible that one can better connect to nature, others, and the present moments of life itself, creating beautiful interpretations of the world as a result.
For more on Striffolino’s artistic method and background, this article
offers a colorful summary of his history and ideas.
To view more of Striffolino’s work, check out his website, and stop by the gallery at Rembrandt Yard to see it in person!
See you soon!