Growing up in Kansas City, Lizzie was exposed to a wide range of rich culture and world-class experiences from a young age. Greatly influenced by her grandmother, a vibrant and strong female with a passion for all things artistic, Lizzie has been encouraged to create for as long as she’s been alive. With a vivacious personality and strong sense of self, the question has never been would Lizzie express herself, but how. The medium of choice has changed over the years, but paint and fiber have remained constant throughout recent years. With a background in science and nursing, Lizzie takes an analytical look at the temperament of her surrounding milieu, those that inhabit it, and the interplay between the two as a mirror for her art.
Lizzie DiSilvestro’s work is a visual and physical representation of the feeling of being content. She challenges her viewers to remember the quiet excitement we feel when everything in life is 'just fine'. These may only be moments in between the chaos and thrills, but the way we design our lives and the choices we make every day can lead to a more constant feeling of contentment and appreciation. DiSilvestro celebrates these often overlooked, often private moments that come in between the extremes of our existence, because they provide the most honest look at life. Inspired by her father’s adage, “Most of life is not spent in the highs or lows, but somewhere right in the middle,” Lizzie believes there is nothing more beautiful than the contentedness and warm simplicity that results from finding joy in the ordinary.
While creating her abstract paintings and fiber works, she allows space to observe her behaviors and intentions, but ultimate interpretation and conclusion is left up to the viewer, allowing a shared experience resulting in increased self-awareness. Elements that remain constant throughout Lizzie’s work are strong brush strokes, meticulously chosen color, and rich texture, all working together to emulate life’s opulent moments alongside the mundane.
My recent work explores the soft, sustaining excitement of contentedness and genuine comfort that accompanies the times of life when everything is just fine. I find these lengths of existence to be among the most interesting for their seemingly “in-between” quality, yet in reality the majority of our life is spent not in the peaks or valleys, but somewhere in the middle. While they’re not marked by life-affirming memories, I hold these languid stretches so dear for the quiet warmth that accompanies simplicity.
The Raw Umber and Yellow Ochre used in this work was purchased at an estate sale I was exploring while visiting my family back home. This paint was old, and well loved by its previous owner, but I could tell by his annotations on the tubes that he was a hobby model maker during his “in-between” times. When things were calm in life, he found gentle elation in the exploration of a new passion. To some, these activities read as mundane, but to this stranger and me they are the enveloping of comfort.
I utilize fiber in addition to paint because some things need to break the two dimensional plane to truly be communicated. Fiber allows me to tell similar stories as my paintings in an unfamiliar way. Materials that are tactically soft and flexible can be used to create clean, modern lines in addition to the free-flowing, organic shapes, representative of the duality of many human emotions. The fibers are all at once ancient and contemporary, aligning with my favorite design principle of co-mingling old and new.
Bite My Tongue
There is a dichotomy between thought and speech, emotion and projection, feeling and telling. Racing thoughts, ruminating notions, and uncertain actions occupy the same infinite space as a lexicon of social mores. The innumerable thoughts that surge through our minds are sifted down through a screen of what is acceptable, attractive, or unobjectionable, until a carefully curated silhouette is projected. Bite My Tongue is a visual abstraction of reticent self-criticisms, beliefs undeclared, and retorts silenced by an apprehensive mind. Take a look below to glimpse the multitude of thoughts bouncing around an anxious mind, while struggling to maintain a pristine exterior that plays nice with others. In a world short on candor and over saturated with internet flattery, don't you wonder what others really think?
These pieces are conversations, passing glances, lifetimes, and love affairs. Color choices manifested from the ecstasy, rage, shame, and desire that span the human condition. Obscured by haze of intense emotions, we allow ourselves to be changed by the relationships we inhabit, for better and worse, as our actions ripple out to effect those beyond our locus of control. This collection is a cumulative assemblage of a year's work in hospice and my study of grief, loss, romance, reminiscence, and the unending ways they move us. Without drawing close attention to this shift, we stifle the opportunity to expand our collective consciousness as ever-evolving emotional beings. To cease growth is to begin to perish.