Vulnerable by Joy Sacalis
old sheets, paper, duct tape, acrylic paint, marker, safety pins, thread
23 x 27 inches
year created: 2020
“I feel vulnerable. Can you just accept that without judging me? You don't need to give me an answer to my problem. Don't tell me that things are not so bad. And absolutely do not minimize my feelings. Just listen to me. This piece reflects the rawness of my feelings during quarantine and my deep sadness after losing my mother. The materials are rudimentarily sewn, pinned, and taped together. It was a cathartic piece to create.”
Artist’s Connection to Theme: It's important to be able to speak your truth without being judged or told how you should feel. We need to express ourselves honestly and freely.
Image Description: Abstract fabric and paper painting/construction made from found materials that are sewn, taped, and pinned together
Trained as a landscape architect, Joy Sacalis has worked as an environmental designer, fabric designer, magazine illustrator, and window display artist. She segued to the fine arts to express herself more completely. She is an abstract expressionist painter and mixed media artist. Her work combines gestural marks, forms, and color through a largely intuitive process of layering and subtracting.
Shortly after her divorce, she had a desire to heal herself through art after watching the documentary called My Kid Could Paint That. Her challenge to herself back in 2008 was to attempt to paint like a child without judgement or limits. After a few tries she realized that this is extremely difficult: an adult with a lifetime of experiences might strive towards that goal, but it’s nearly impossible to do it. Nevertheless, Joy decided to pursue that challenge. She actively made decisions along the way to not settle on one specific style, to keep experimenting, to put myself out there, and to overcome the obstacles of self-doubt and shyness. Her work is in tune with how she’s feeling and what she’s going through now. She is always eager to try out and incorporate different techniques and materials to find what resonates with her. But the cohesiveness and wholeness she’s searching for with her art style is elusive; that journey of evolving never ends. This is not a negative! It feels like she’s welcoming parts of herself towards an overall wholeness and emotional well being.
She began the fabric construction paintings in March of 2020 to cope with the isolation and feelings of loss during the quarantine. There was a sense of urgency in creating them. Ripping up old worn-out bed sheets, ones that harken to a previous lifetime and marriage, and using any materials and fragments at hand--duct tape, safety pins, paper clips, paper, cardboard, paint--she fashioned the forms by rudimentarily sewing pieces together. She cut them apart several times, rearranged pieces, and painted over them. It started out as working with what was available, but she came to find that this method of constructing fabric pai
Frame: White shadowbox frame with glass.
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