Eva Bovenzi

San Francisco, California, USA

The paintings in the Messenger series are diptychs. They were inspired by Byzantine icons, early Renaissance Italian art and medieval maps; their forms were derived from abstractions of wings (bird, bat and butterfly) and from navigational and celestial charts. The intersecting chart lines of these old maps certainly contributed to the geometric shapes of the images. The geometry also seemed necessary in that I wanted the forms to be distinct from the ground—no soft edges. Finally, the geometry supported the idea of fragmentation, which was the conceptual basis of this series. I was interested in the idea of our continuing yearning for wholeness and the impossibility of ever quite achieving it. Hence the disjuncture of the two halves of the image, and the unequal panels of the diptych. The puzzle parts don’t quite line up.

The From Blue series grew out of the Messengers. I became interested in the way the images could be made to fade into or stand distinct from the ground by manipulating value and color. The various blues of the backgrounds offered more depth than the grays of the Messenger series, as well as supporting the underlying idea of forms emerging from and returning to “the blue”. The shapes themselves are derived from abstractions of webs, shells, chrysalises. In my eyes, they are elemental forms suspended in indefinite space, caught in the moment between appearing and disappearing.

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