Love Letters - Alexander Hamilton to his wife, August 1781 Collage by Cynthia Grow

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Art Description

Collage: Acrylic, Graphite on Paper, Other.

Collection of love letters written by historical figures and famous lovers throughout the ages. The phrases of the hand-written pieces correspond to loving, passionate, sometimes humorous excerpts from each letter, the text partially obscured by paint ground.

In these pieces, I appropriate a pre-existing text, here letters, and obscure the original document which serves to act as a mirror for the ideas, needs, and desires of the viewer. The idea of covering is twofold: First, simply, that these are private letters. Intimate thoughts and words, often delivered in secret, hidden, intended only for two people, and their eyes alone. Secondly, the hidden words act as a metaphor for the subconscious – an awareness and the thoughts that exist just under the surface, almost out of reach, barely perceptible. The unspoken that I believe exists in us all. As the words are concealed and the paint eventually dries, small, seemingly trivial details – random words and phrases emerge, as if bubbling from the subconscious, while the larger picture and context are erased.

Certainly, this work is about human emotion — the spectrum from love to hate, or indifference rather, and all the messiness in-between. While these pieces may seem simple in execution, the concept runs deeper. I take much time pondering, searching for just the correct phrase to write on the finished piece. It must resonate with me. If not initially, then after I obliterate the text. The words often find me. The paint, which resembles Rorschach inkblots, forms a ground from which I tease out words. I purposely scribble, giving the work a dashed-off quality, another metaphor for emotion. For me, anything "too perfect," too calligraphic would just be robotic and negate the feeling. Beauty in imperfection. The pieces become a palimpsest of sorts, subverting and transforming language, creating a new form.

Presence of Absence. Mystery. Silence. In both art and in life, I find what is hidden or obscured more compelling than the overt. I believe that hiding part of the world is inherent to the act of showing the world. For this reason, I prefer to leave ambiguity in my work, regardless the medium. Similar to the poet's sense of reduced language to communicate, creating mood and meaning where there may be no obvious story. Posing a question minus the answer, I offer the viewer to become an important determiner of meaning; allowing space to experience his own feeling, to arrive at his own conclusion.



Love Letters - Alexander Hamilton to his wife, August 1781

Cynthia Grow


Size: 12 W x 9 H x 0.1 in

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Showed at the The Other Art Fair

Artist Recognition

Artist featured in a collection

Artist featured by Saatchi Art in a collection

Showed at the The Other Art Fair

Handpicked to show at The Other Art Fair presented by Saatchi Art in Brooklyn, New York, New York