Nocturne 2, February 2017
oil on wood
48 x 36 in.
Catalina Bellizzi’s visual work is an intersection of spiritual, cultural, and female identity that uses a unique synesthetic perception of the world through color associations to create an aesthetic that speaks to the complexities of female identity and spiritual practice. Bellizzi’s current “Nocturne” series of paintings are an ode to the “night time” of prayer. The portraits depict women in a state of transcendence through prayer, with the surrounding shapes a dream like manifestation of life circumstances and internal landscape. Trauma, oppression, personality, growth, healing, and the presence of the sublime are pieces of these landscapes represented through color.
Rather than creating every portrait the same to imply a false sense of uniformity amongst women’s experiences, each one has its own narrative that the viewer can witness, relate to, but not project their assumptions on due to the figure’s closed-eyes, un-acknowledging of her audience. This is a direct response to the historical objectification of the female figure throughout art history.
As the artist, Bellizzi draws from her own experiences as a first-generation American, half-Colombian/half-Argentinean, devout Christian, and feminist. Navigating the tension between these areas is the motivation behind creating a visual space representing women who bridge multiple areas of identity within the context of spirituality.
© Catalina Bellizzi