Ophelia (art) - digital painting of a doll by Barbara Agreste

Nigredo

Cyanide

Cyanide: running towards the void

My film Cyanide has had a peculiar beginning. It originated from a period of my life of extreme depression, and uncertainty, and it was an action I was performing every day that made me think about developing the more predominant images of this film.

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The Tower Trilogy


The Tower Trilogy

 The Tower Trilogy has three titles that originated in Italian: “La Torre, Le Formiche, Lo Specchio” and they translate this way in english : “The Tower, The Insects, The Mirror”. This animation is made with 16 mm film, and DV video, and it is very abstract although some figures appear on the screen at some points.

 

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Dark Pop Surrealism

 

Dark Pop Surrealism

 

Dark Pop Surrealism Blood

Dark Pop Surrealism

Dolls are surreal, dark and today they have come to represent perfect, endless, but also lifeless beauty. I must also add “voiceless beauty” too, since a doll doesn’t speak. I have used dolls several times in my images in the attempt to emphasize the fact that a woman in many situations is seen and treated as a doll. But, if a doll is voiceless, would images of dolls speak any sort of truth about them?

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Nigredo Blackness

Nigredo Blackness is a digital painting conveying the alchemical stage of blackness and putrefaction...

 

Nigredo Blackness

The Catharsis of Ophelia

 

Nigredo Blackness. Today I looked at some of my digital paintings from the Nigredo series, and I found out that many of them were left unfinished. I was especially interested in one of those images, the one that best represents the Nigredo phase, one that has actually a lot of black matter in it, an almost entirely black and white piece.

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Art needed: when we need it, and what it does to the image of ourselves.

art needed Barbara Agreste Nedusa Self Portrait

ART NEEDED

When Art is needed, and when it’s not.

Art needed me, I needed art.

Again on art; this time I have pondered about what made me, in my past, need art so much, and I have finally, after having stopped for a while producing forms, found the answer: I have never existed at peace and harmony with myself since when I was born, because of the influence of a narcissistic parent with a pathology so hard to identify, and so insidious, Continue reading

Poisoned Ivy

About Barbara Agreste

Poisoned ivy - About Barbara Agreste - Ophelia Blood Lake - A painting from "The Catharsis of Ophelia" series.

Poisoned Ivy

 

Barbara Agreste, post surrealist artist, her artwork takes the viewer into a dreamy world full of tricky tiles, falling flowers, and sharp shards.
She blends poisoned ivy to the image of Ophelia, showcasing a doll as the best example of her strange way of conceiving beauty: never flaunting, discreet and androgynous, part of a concealed world immersed in thriving nature and cold swamps, a fragile universe of subtle ethereal pain and melancholic moods.

Barbara Agreste disseminates fallen petals, disconnected shiny leaves, and fragments of mirror along impervious paths, leading the viewer of her video art, and short films to a journey characterized by the instability of walls and floors, and by the dazing alternating colours of unsteady tiles. There is always danger in these adventures, uncanny places of hidden eyes, or architectures built with the special purpose of causing accidents to the passengers. It is nature the tricky environment, full of leaves and blood, but this natural lanscape is also magnified and remoulded: it is not a totally true vegetation that we see, but rather a genetiacally modified one, a distorted natural proliferation, reminiscent of the cinematic settings, assembled like a labirinth hiding too many things, leading to a previously arranged scene.

Never trust your eyes.

poisoned-ivy

Poisoned Ivy

About Barbara Agreste

In Reptilica Barbara Agreste’s Symbols

Barbara Agreste's symbols. The doll is also sadly a symbol for a perfect lifeless beauty...

“In Reptilica i simboli
di Barbara Agreste”

Video of the week:
“In Reptilica Barbara Agreste’s symbols”

Review by Claudia Quintieri | 18 June 2012

Barbara Agreste loved art ever since. Her formal training begun at the art College of her town, and after that she lived in Milan for some time attending a Set Design course in Brera Academy.

Video Art, Short Film by Barbara Agreste. Image with a doll on a checkered blue floor watching worms pass by.

(The image above refers to the short animated filmReptilica)

In 1993 she moved to the UK where at first she took contemporary dance classes, and performed in dance companies; but after two years she returned to the visual arts enrolling at the University of Kent.

 

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Ghost

Ghost, Painting of a Doll from the Ophelia Pop surrealism series by Barbara Agreste

oil on canvas
80 x 60 cm
2012

Ghost

Ophelia’s Pond

……

Ophelia’s Pond

ophelia-pond

oil on canvas
120 x 90  cm
2011

Ophelia’s Pond

Earth


Earth is a painting of a doll on the floor, from "The catharsis of Ophelia" series, oil on canvas by Barbara Agreste.

oil on canvas
90 x 84 cm
2011

Earth

 This painting is about the earth. It is so because the earth is the place that welcomes all of us when we are unable to stand, or walk. When we have a problem with our balance, the earth is there to protect us, and will guide us through the recovery of our right senses, and of our conscious life.

When I made this painting I was excited about the outcome of the doll’s body, it was an incredible discovery that I could render the lights, and shadows of the feet, legs and trunk so well, so naturally, with no need to make things perfect, and with just a few brush strokes, things would come out so plausible. I decided then to make the face, and it hasn’t turned out to be so convincing.

But I did not want to change it, because I thought perfection in  this case was not needed: we have the face of a puppet, and the atmosphere of this painting is uncanny, wants to be sinister. Therefore why to make the doll’s face more human?

The message is one of “transformation of pain”, “transfiguration”, so even if the nose wouldn’t return a mathematical perfection in its lightings, I left the features distorted intentionally, so the sensation that some sort of unstable dream is going on stays with the viewer.

I wanted to create the flashback of a dream: the picture is like a film frame that would pass, like a lightning strike,  trough the length of the film, a sudden opening of light into the unconscious mind of the viewer/author/protagonist.

This earth painting is one of a series of paintings that represent the concept of ground as an important resource of reconstitution. It is the ever resting place for the body: in my imaging a ground not very detailed, rather blank and anonymous, but yet still very present and important for understanding the transitional state of the Nigredo.

Earth

Black Bough Doll

Painting - portrait of a Doll from "The Catharsis of Ophelia" series, art by Barbara Agreste.

oil on canvas
77 x 51 cm
2011

Black Bough Doll

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Dolls - Ophelia (art, paintings) series by Barbara Agreste