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Sally Payen


A series of paintings from the Land Grab' project with site-specific drawings entitled 'Erasure'.

Exhibition Text
By Elisabetta Civitan, November 2009

Contemporary art is being increasingly used to clearly convey an ethical message or a message about current social and environmental issues. A sense of danger has damaged relationships between people, has expanded our sense of emptiness and increased our fear of the future. We find all this in Sally Payen’s art. She is a British contemporary artist who portrays fighters, boxers, walkers or victims surrounded by grids, cages and huge strokes of light blue. The apparent simplicity of her style, stroke and technique (oil, pigment and pen on paper) is almost graffiti like.

Sally highlights society’s weaknesses and fears: anguish, rage, violence, war and death. Two-dimensional and impersonal, small and large black figures convey a sense of menace and anxiety. White, blank spaces prevail in her canvasses, which have no beginning, no end.  The artist analyzes the single phenomena of a multifaceted universe, which is reality. Her works reveal soul-searching and introspection and she exquisitely uses shading for the background.

A common thread in Payen’s art is dismay, as we live in a world that a superficial civilization has made indifference to its real values. Her paintings are all large-sized canvases, where brush strokes have an incredibly depictive power, revealing the artist’s unique graphic skills.  Boxers, which are a recurrent theme in her art, and the vividness of the images, suggest a breathtaking reality that gives an overwhelming power to her paintings.

Her works convey the artist’s inner self; they reveal suffering and a need to share. Her paintings arouse strong emotions, which go beyond the images themselves. They are an open window to the world, where the viewer is propelled towards a vivid sense of space.  In her works we find a world of silence, where every cry is a suppressed cry, which changes shape and form.  A spirit of introspection can be perceived, which is a key element of a new art expression that will certainly produce excellent results.

Our town is honored to host this exhibition, an event that promotes artistic and social growth in Italy; our primary goal is to promote collaboration between international artists and display high quality artwork in places frequented by common people.

Sally Payen at Forte Sangello, Nettuno Rome novemb

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