|Francesca Azzara in front of her Elizabeth Harneys
John Allen and Michael Bloomberg
acrylic on canvas
I was exhibiting my own work at the Jersey City Artists Studio Tour this month when I spotted Elizabeth Harney’s powerful portraits. Her work spoke to me immediately and I decided in an instant that I wanted to own them. There is a certain aesthetic and sensibility in Elizabeth’s work that I connected to.
That is not something I usually do. I often know the work of an artist, or know the artist and the history of their work, before I make a decision. This was instantaneous.
Usually, I work in black and white or minimal use of color. I am interested in form and content versus color and design. These 2 paintings are part of a series of 10 portraits. All of the figures are white men in power.
I had the opportunity to meet Elizabeth at the Tour’s opening party and we talked about her work. The artist is a very young, soft spoken, wisp of a woman, in contrast to her large powerful portraits. Elizabeth grew up in a military household in New Jersey. Her work explores the concept of power and sees it changing.
She foresees that the white male dominated era of power will soon be archaic and is interested in capturing what currently remains.
Francesca Azzara is a painter working in encaustics and mixed media.