My painting is on view at the Studio Montclair Art Gallery

The Lack of Privilege, an oil painting by Francisco Silva
“The Lack of Privilege”, an oil painting by Francisco Silva

One of my paintings is currently on view at the Studio Montclair art gallery. Additionally, an online exhibit compliments the physical show. This group show titled “Privilege, Power and Everyday Life” showcases 32 artists and their interpretation of the theme. Click here for a detailed view of my painting. Click here to view the entire exhibit.

The concept

Titled “The Lack of Privilege”, my new oil painting deals with an unexpected consequence of the pandemic: I depict a food line in Queens in a latino neighborhood. COVID-19 has been devastating to poor communities specifically black and brown neighborhoods. In the painting, I show figures standing in the cold, not interacting, and waiting for their turn. The faces are unclear, smudged or, in some cases, hidden in shadows. Some figures are hidden behind others or visually blend into each other. I painted them this way to emphasize that their identities are forgotten or overlooked. Although this is a tough time for everyone, some people are deprived of essentials such as food.

My painting process

In this painting I began experimenting in several ways. I normally take snapshots and use them as reference. In this case, I’ve searched online for videos taken by news outlets, I then took screenshots of the video and have used that as a foundation for this painting. I wanted to begin with a realistic, almost clinical view of the subject.

With regards to painting process, I outlined the figures in heavy black lines. The people in the food line are painted in mostly cool grays which visually separates the blue-gray sidewalk and the orange/terra cotta buildings serving to balance the composition. The brushstrokes are loose and expressionistic adding to the mood of the artwork.

The show is currently on view through February. Click here to register for a Zoom curatorial talk on January 21 at 7pm.

What do you think about the exhibition? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

6 ways artists can take advantage of online opportunities during COVID

Artist studio with brushes
Photo by Dan Cook on Unsplash

The spread of COVID-19 has forced the art market to increase their presence on the virtual space. The art world now relies on their online galleries to showcase artist’s work. For the artist, this means that in-person shows have halted but virtual opportunities have been created.

Why is this important?

The world’s behavior has changed during the pandemic. Zoom meetings, art openings, and artist’s talks have become commonplace. By actively engaging in these events you can reap short-term benefits and create a foundation for future opportunities. Additionally, I believe that these virtual events will continue to exist in the post-pandemic art market.

How you can take advantage of online opportunities?

  1. Seek out online exhibitions – You’re no longer limited by geography since you don’t need to deliver artwork to a physical location. This gives you the chance to enter exhibitions anywhere.
  2. Participate during online openings – You must be present to support your art show. The gallery/arts organization hosting this event will be aware of your presence or absence. Additionally, if anyone is interested in your work, you’ll be available for questions.
  3. Actively participate as a spectator in Artist Talks – This is a good way to support your fellow artists. Be an active participant by asking questions.
  4. Be a presenter at an Artist Talk – If given the chance, take the opportunity to talk about your work. This is the single best way to let people know about you, your art, and your artistic process. This also gives a potential collector the opportunity to learn about your work.
  5. Be active on Social Media – There’s no need to overdo it. Just choose either Instagram or Facebook and post regularly.
  6. Update your website – Ultimately, you want to drive people to your website to see your body of work and to learn more about you as an artist. Update your website so it contains current work and doesn’t look dated. Remember, that your website is a representation of you in the virtual world.

How this strategy helps your art career

  • It keeps you visible to galleries and other artists during this time when interacting physically isn’t an option
  • Virtual participation allows you to network with other artists, curators and collectors
  • When the pandemic is finally over, you can leverage the connections you’ve made for potential exhibitions
  • Actively participating in Artist Talks gives you credibility by making others aware of your art knowledge. This can lead to organizations seeking you out for your art knowledge.

Have you done any of the above? How much have you participated in virtual events? Please let me know in the comments.