The Contemporary Oil Paintings of Lauren Szabo
There is a lot of superb art being made these days; this article by Allison Malafronte shines light a gifted individual.
If you happen upon a 50-foot-high bejeweled glass slipper with flashing lights perched atop a pole in the desert, you are either in Las Vegas or you are looking at a painting by LAUREN SZABO (b. 1988). There is no pun intended, however, in this San Francisco-area-based artist’s work. She paints pictures such as The Glass Slipper to hold a mirror up to pressing trends and truths related to man’s effect on the environment and the future of society.
“Currently, we are facing big questions and concerns with the commercialization and commodification of nature, and we are confronting the power struggle between civilization and nature,” the artist says. “Where is the boundary?” In “The Glass Slipper,” Szabo creates a visual for these blurred lines by juxtaposing the absurdity of a commercial statue against the beautiful backdrop of nature. The painting, of course, is metaphorical. The fact that the metal-and-glass slipper stands high above the palm trees suggests that, in this environment especially, the man-made has been elevated above the natural.
With her background in illustration — she earned a B.F.A. in illustration from the California College of the Arts and completed an M.F.A. in painting at the San Franisco Art Institute — Szabo was a natural candidate for using image-making to send a message. She quickly learned in school that the mentors and fellow artists she admired most were those using their talent to make social, economic, political, and environmental commentaries and to help incite change.
Today, she is part of an emerging movement of artists doing precisely that. “I am an advocate for skill-based representational painting that addresses current issues in American culture and beyond,” Szabo says. “I am part of a generation that shares a collective consciousness of re-evaluating the way humans interact with the environment and one another as our hybrid landscape progresses.”
Additional Contemporary Oil Paintings:
For more information, visit Lauren Szabo’s website: http://www.laurenjadeszabo.com/