Symbols, 2023, Oil and Oil Stick on Canvas, 48 x 36 inches
Symbols is a departure from my usual work. First of all, I wanted to do a painting that was just about color. Then, while meditating, took inspiration from the Persian rug on which I’d placed my cushion; I imagined flying on a magic carpet as I’d been reading about the vrajayana (Diamond Vehicle) in Tibetan Buddhism.
Sandra Koponen (b. 1961) is a visual artist with a background in music (sax, composition), photography/film/videography and writing. Though she was around the NYC downtown art scene of the 1980s, living in squats and playing sax, she only began oil painting in 2012. She first exhibited in 2013, and in 2015 her painting “We Can’t Breathe” was one of the few to receive mention in The New York Times’ cover story about Smack Mellon’s Respond show, which showcased over 700 artists’ work around the police murder of Eric Garner. She later received mention in Vice News and other publications for her Voodoo Trump statue in the Nasty Women show in Bushwick and for her Nail-a-thon (a participatory public performance in the East Village of NYC). In 2017, she had her first solo show of abstract landscapes, Transmogrified Weather, at SLA Gallery in Chelsea, NYC. (SLA founders now run Undercurrent in DUMBO NYC.) Since then, she has worked on some private commissions and multi-media installations for two benefits at a sculpture park, while continuing her painting practice and contributing work to protest art shows. While a portion of Koponen’s artwork has been politically themed and addressed topical issues, her primary objective is to explore abstraction of imagery from dreams and memory.
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