Enjoy this preview of the contemporary figurative art of Andrea Kowch, who is represented by RJD Gallery (Bridgehampton, NY). In this spotlight, Kowch takes us behind the scenes of three of her recent paintings.
Andrea Kowch: Artist’s Statement
Inspired by memories, inner emotions, history, and my fascination with nature and the human psyche, the stories behind my paintings stem from life’s emotions and experiences, resulting in narrative, allegorical imagery that illustrates the parallels between human experience and the mysteries of the natural world.
The lonely, desolate American landscape encompassing the paintings’ subjects serves as an exploration of nature’s sacredness and a reflection of the human soul, symbolizing all things powerful, fragile, and eternal. These real, yet dreamlike, scenarios serve as metaphors for the human condition, all retaining a sense of vagueness because I wish to involve and motivate the viewer in uncovering the various layers of mood and meaning to form conclusions from their own perspective, despite that my main idea will always be before them.
We all share a common thread, and as active participants in an ever-changing modern world, the purpose of my work is to remind viewers of these places that we sometimes perceive no longer exist, and to recognize and honor them as a part of our history that is worth preserving.
In juxtaposing the human form with animals and a bygone uninhibited American landscape, I provide glimpses into “rooms,” those oftentimes chaotic places we possess internally. The rural, Mid-western landscape of my home state serves as a backdrop for the stage of human emotions. The animals present are vehicles for expressing the feelings and underlying tensions suppressed behind the human mask. Symbolic explorations of the soul and events concerning our environment are expressed through the combination of these elements to transform personal ideas into universal metaphors.
Below > Take a virtual tour of the narrative figurative art of Andrea Kowch at RJD Gallery (2020):
Behind the Scenes of Andrea Kowch’s Contemporary Figurative Art
“The figure traveling alone on a passenger train, is dressed in her finer, yet modest clothes, with her small, canine friend nestled close to her side on the seat,” Kowch tells us. “The figure’s placement allows the viewer to feel as if he/she is seated across from her. In her lap, her hands hold a small gift box, wrapped, and tied with ribbon.
“She is in thought—caught in the precise moment where she is about to lift her head and look out the window to gaze upon the landscape of rolling fields, a winding road, and glowing evening sky. Out the window, behind her, the rest of the train cars can be seen wrapping around the tracks far in the distance.
“Along the winding road that weaves through the hills towards the train, a truck can be seen approaching, headlights illuminating the twilit landscape, as it hastily races alongside the train. The sky reflects that time of day when the setting sun and rising moon greet one another in their daily exchange between daylight and nightfall. The presence of the moon brings a cosmic charge to the dreamy mystery that permeates the scene.
“Where, or who is she traveling to? Who is anticipating her arrival? Who or what is she awaiting to reunite with? Who or what is waiting to reunite with her? Who is in the automobile that races to meet the train’s arrival? Or is it simply passing by, like a thought in her mind, going on its own way?
“The painting carries a profound air of mystery and possibilities not unlike a cinematic moving picture. Like the twists and turns of a story weaving towards an eagerly awaited outcome, this painting is meant to evoke feelings that transcend the boundaries of time and space.”
“Fixed boldly in place, feminine and immovable, resolute in belief, and vastly determined. This work speaks to the intricate, touching journey that 2019 has been for me as an expectant, first-time mother, and the complexities of what it means to remain resilient throughout the endless cycles of transition throughout our lives,” says Kowch.
“As steady as the land beneath her feet, the focused, imbedded spirit of the woman transcends all amongst her life, unyielding of any diversion from her primary mission and purpose.
“The wind moves in, rustling her hair, clothing, and the landscape around her, but she stands firm, proudly facing the new frontier that approaches, mysterious and infinite with possibilities, a hallmark of the ever-changing landscape of the human condition. Her essence is deeply rooted in her history, sense of self, and the past that has shaped her.
“The dog, loyal, cautious, and protective, both hesitates and supports her stability against the winds of change, a faithful heart sprouting from the roots of an unwavering love.”
“In ‘Soiree,’ the subject matter and themes found in my early work reappear, resulting in a whimsical, interactive reunion between the human and animal worlds,” Kowch says. “A female character is seated upon a blanket, indulging in what appears to be intended as a solitary summer afternoon, immersed in sweet treats and written stories—until she is unexpectedly interrupted by a host of crows that arrive unannounced, inviting themselves to indulge in her picnic.
“The sense of irony and indifference in her reaction to the interruption carries an air of both apathy and amusement.
“Upon further observation, however, we begin to notice that her bountiful picnic appears to have maybe not been completely planned for only her enjoyment alone. Multiple plates in her basket hint at perhaps an unspoken hope and desire, and even preparedness for, and expectation of company. Nature is a language and one that also speaks many.
“In this lively composition, she does not protest the birds’ audacious arrival. Instead, she appears to secretly embrace it. In staying open to chance, and expecting the unexpected, we just may find what we seek—when we least expect it.”
For more information about the figurative art and contemporary realism of Andrea Kowch, please visit rjdgallery.com.