Anna Glantz

My paintings reflect an endless search for inventive and surprising images that have the ability to stimulate both sensually and intellectually. Repeated motifs combined with divergent painting styles put forth an unstable narrative, which—like a belated eyewitness testimony—reeks of inconsistencies and factual fermentation. Each individual painting ends up looking quite different from its neighbor, and often, many different styles will be contained within one work: Psychedelic batik- like patterning encloses an airy gestural landscape in Happier than Piero, and in Teen Morning, a dull green is applied all over like a clay beauty mask. I am interested in the subconscious assignment of value (i.e. good, evil, cheap, sexy, authentic) that takes place when we look at a certain way of painting, and how these biases shape our understanding of the image, and perhaps even our feelings about the artist. In my work, the shift between different modes of painting is both an investigation of these ideas and a formal device that can complicate spatial relations in an interesting way.
This specific group of paintings uses motifs lifted from American history—the tricorn hat of early colonial days, passages from WPA murals in Texas, bindlestiffs, and Paul Revere’s midnight ride—as anchor points to manipulate and reconfigure an image or memory. On several occasions, a doe-eyed man named Jack (also my real-life romantic partner) whose demeanor and appearance shifts from painting to painting, bears witness to the scenes, at times becoming the narrator of this fictitious USA.
While combining both personal and external narratives (often from literary fiction or film), the paintings are more interested in seducing the viewer than relating plot points. Rather than adhering to a linear chronology, they become emblematic and allegorical.