Dec. 11, 2002 – St. Thomas oil painter Aphrodite is a known entity on the local art scene, but viewers of her show opening Friday at Alexander's Café will see her work "in a new light."
That's literally the title of the exhibition — "Oil Paintings in a New Light."
The title reflects a diversity of approaches to her subject matter that is a result of focused study and productivity last summer incorporating the traditionally opposing approaches of Impressionism and Realism.
Known for her Caribbean scenes painted in classic, traditional style, Aphrodite reached the conclusion that in her own work, "Some paintings just needed to be created with loose brush strokes, while others kept moving in a direction to be more and more detailed."
And then she took the concept a step beyond, experimenting with a pattern of right-angle brush strokes she refers to as "Blockism." She explains: "When you look at these paintings from a distance, you recognize the area or scene. Upon closer viewing you really notice the detailed vertical and horizontal brush-stroke pattern I used to create the painting."
The works in the Alexander's show, which opens Friday with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Frenchtown restaurant, span those artistic conceits. On small and large canvases, the artist has captured favorite and familiar scenes on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix.
"I enjoyed the challenge of striving for progression in my artwork," Aphrodite says of her new collection.
Before establishing herself as a Caribbean artist six years ago, Aphrodite had made her mark as a mainland artist specializing on portraiture in the sports world. Her first career was in cosmetology, where she expressed herself creatively as a hair stylist. During those years, she joined an arts association, and this led her to take part in painting workshops with prominent teachers in New England and New York. After her first visit to the Caribbean, one thing led to another until she opened her own studio in Tillett Gardens a couple of years ago.
"Art is an exciting, endless learning process," she says. "Each new blank canvas intrigues me, just waiting for its own intended colorful image to one day come alive in oils."
Friday's meet-the-artist reception will feature complimentary champagne and finger food and a chance on a door prize gift from the artist.
All works in the exhibition, which will hang through Jan. 9, are available for purchase. For further information, visit the St. John Gallery Web site.
Those wishing to stay for dinner at Alexander's Café following the reception are asked to make reservations by calling 774-4349.
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