FABR GRANT RECIPIENT 2023 http://gracenetanya.com/
Grace Netanya is an artist and storyteller whose art combines contemporary and traditional ideas to create an art fusion that is both Avant-Garde and introspective. At a very young age, Grace taught herself to draw in order to communicate stories and characters from her imagination. A childhood of homeschooling in Florida provided her with the time and isolation to become engrossed in her imagination, and today she is interested in pulling the magical and surreal out of the ordinary and banal. Grace is interested in putting unique spins on existing styles and finding new ways to push a medium past the conceived limit. She prefers to use mixed-media techniques with ink, graphite, colored pencils and acrylics. However, she loves to discover new mediums and is constantly expanding her repertoire. Grace’s unique combination of colorful fantasy and realism has caught the eyes of the art world both at home and internationally. She had her first exhibit at the age of fourteen, at MOAS FL, and has exhibited with such prestigious organizations as The ARC Realism Salon and The Colored Pencil Society. She has won many awards, such as The Copic Award Grand Prize 2019, 2022 Martha Vineyard’s Drawing Prize 1st place, and most recently, Boyne’s Emerging Artist Prize 2022 Second Place. Her work has also been published with imaginative art publications such as Infected by Art and Supersonicart.com.
"Like a dream, my works resemble reality, but with distortion around the aspects that may be difficult for the mind to confront. As with an ancient fairy-tale, a "fantasy" story allows the viewer to process a difficult, yet relevant topic in a way that is both honest and entertaining. My works often analyzes the story threads shared throughout the myths and legends of several cultures. Some of these pieces explore character archetypes, while others, such as my works “Little Red and The Wolf” or “Hansel and Gretel” are reinterpretations of particular tales. I am particularly interested in the way that our stories portray women and children. I often use my work to reframe these narratives, portraying children and women as the central agency of their stories. My process begins with a character. I imagine a clear image in my mind of a crucial moment in their story. I will sketch out this image and as I do so, I often more fully develop the narrative behind this snapshot. Drawing both from my love for Art history and Pop Culture, I invent symbols to illustrate the themes behind my work. I will then take photo references for my work, and use a combination of my own photography and other sources to create "digital collages" as a jump-off for my visual storytelling. I then begin the process of creating my work on paper. I draw freehand, observing my "collages". As the “reality” of my work begins to emerge, I switch focus away from my references and put my imagination down on paper. As I build up the layers of my work, the fantastical elements become more colorful, often slightly textured or reflective, depending on what materials I have chosen. The end result is an image that draws from the tradition of representational art and morphs it into an exploration of the mysterious and intangible." ~ Grace Netanya