Elizabeth's Goldfinch, by Elizabeth MacKay
9" x 12", oil on gessoed hardboard, 2019
GOLDFINCHED Art Statement
Donna Tartt’s novel The Goldfinch revolves around the objectuality and value of a painting and how that materiality affects all of the characters in the book. The presence and absence of the painting throughout the novel trigger discussions about art, beauty, and mortality.
The novel also questions the relationship between the value given to objects and their authenticity. How does art appreciation change between seeing a gilded-framed painting inside a world-famous museum and seeing a poster of it hanging in a college dorm? In the novel, original and re-creation share the same potential for inspiration and emotional value.
The theme of value also permeates in debates about market value vs. sentimental value and how those concepts connect all objects to a broader definition of beauty. At times both ideas of value (market/sentimental) are reconciled, but it is when the concepts antagonize that the novel breaks creative ground.
In the series GOLDFINCHED, we’re re-creating an illusion of the novel’s painting in what the author calls “a rainbow edge,” a middle zone between reality and the point where our minds strike reality, the place where Art exists. Each visual translation grows out of the confinements of value, connects to a multilayered idea of beauty, and becomes the vehicle that talks to Carel Fabritius, the first Goldfinch painter, across time and space.
As a self-portrait of the artist's style, each painting in the series inspires a conversation about the relationship between creativity and technique and how the multiple combinations of both elements within a broad visual spectrum result in new and original works of art.
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