Green Zen I + II, by Andrea D'Aquino.
15% of the sale of this print goes to The Shama Foundation.
Andrea D’Aquino is an experienced art director and graphic designer. In the last few years, she has put her energies more seriously into her personal art and illustration. Though she loves using technology, Andrea studied art and graphic design before Macs were ubiquitous, and feels fortunate not to have had to learn the lesson that creativity has nothing to do with using software. Andrea spends many hours walking her dog and trying not to think too much. Somewhere in-between the artwork seems to happen. At the moment she is also learning how to screenprint, which she says suits her very well.
About the print:
Curator's note: This edition actually comes as two prints being sold as a pair. We love the way that the two images interact with each other – abstract versus illustrative, textured versus simple. We imagine that one print is of the woman, and the other print is of the inner woman. Enjoy!
Green Zen I + II came from an ethereal moment, I guess – at least compared to much of my work. At the time, I was looking at Gustav Klimt, and I had Buddha hands from Tibetan sculpture, as well as medieval European religious paintings in my mind. Interestingly, the hands are very similar in both and seem to suggest higher knowledge or inner peace in both cultures. For the companion piece, I love the unpredictability of the watercolor. It matches the spirit of the other without actually representing anything, which makes it even more elemental and universal.
Both prints were signed and numbered by the artist. They are digital prints on Hahnemühle Fine Art archival paper.
I don’t believe in plotting everything out so much that all life is drained out of the final piece. I usually draw spontaneously and/or from imagination, and allow space for the unexpected, and even mistakes. The sketch above is a drawing done around the time of Green Zen I + II, which eventually found its way into the final piece. I have many like it. I did them casually in my sketchbook at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, from medieval religious paintings.
What has inspired you recently?
Art of all kinds! I love Persian art, Medieval art, Flemish art, Japanese print-making of the last century, abstract expressionist painters from the 50’s and 60’s, 60’s and 70’s psychedelia, neo-realist/nouvelle vague/70’s auteur cinema...to name just a few!
Why did you choose to pair The Shama Foundation with your prints?
I chose to pair my prints with The Shama Foundation of Madagascar. I do not have children, so this is one way to be supportive of the most innocent among us, not to mention those with the most potential. It is also a way to acknowledge that I myself have been very fortunate to grow up in a supportive family with all of my needs more than met. As the Shama Foundation says on their website: "Madagascar is considered one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. An educated people may make the informed economic and environmental choices needed to heal and sustain Madagascar’s unique ecosystem."
How have you seen art transform the world around you?
Going to a concert, movie, theater, a museum - any art viewed in a public space - everyone has probably had the experience of feeling art transform even thousands of people in the same time and space. It can be life affirming. It is probably the most powerful force I can think of. I feel that life would not be much more than mere survival without it.
If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Kveta Pacovska. I am enamored of her work for its purity, child-like boldness, and amazing confidence and imagination. She is also in her eighties, and far as I know, still doing work like this.
In the end, the most difficult and important task for any creative person is to find his or her own way – to put aside and even contradict much of what you've learned. Question it all, disprove it, and find your own voice. It’s not easy, sometimes not fun - but if you pursue that, you'll be doing work that you and only you can do.
Who are some artists you think people should know about?
I'll mention a few not wildly famous or trendy people, in case it may introduce anyone to someone new: Niki de Saint Phalle, Lee Bontecou, Biala, Kenneth Anger, Nicolas de Stael, Tadanori Yokoo, Friso Henstra, Nicole Claveloux, Anne Herbauts...that’s enough to start on!