My life-size, freestanding cutouts are an attempt at a whimsical restructuring of art history. By releasing familiar images from the confinement of the frame and thrusting them into real space the paintings confront the contemporary viewer in new and surprising ways that invariably provoke not only smiles but also fresh insights.
Continuing a project I started over 20 years ago, my sculptures explore the magic of encountering familiar personages from Art History in a totally new context, often putting them together in combinations that tell a completely new story. Renoir's dancing couple, Velasquez' princess, Gauguin's Tahitian maiden all somehow change when they enter our rooms.
With a jigsaw I carefully cut fine birch plywood to shape, and then recreate in oil paints the original artist's technique, be it the heavy impasto of Van Gogh or the subtle glazes of Ingres. Rendered life size regardless of the size of the original, they are able to relate not only to us but also to each other.
Bringing these characters into the 21st century is another issue. If we are to relate to them on a personal level they must somehow be in our world. With props and unexpected combinations, each character can take on an entirely new meaning. Using wit and sometimes humor, a new story is born. Sometimes the commentary is art-referential, a twist on another art form or another esthetic: art about art. Some of the works are simply the figures as illusion. "Is that really someone over there?"
I have had 19 Solo shows, have shown in Tokyo 6 times, and have had my art displayed in many group exhibitions. My work is included in the Sylvia Sleigh Collection of Women Artists at Rowan University and I am a featured artist in the recently published "100 New York Painters" by Cynthia Dantzic. I have had solo exhibitions at the Queens College Art Center and the Pensacola Museum of Art, which sponsored an educational experience for 4500 children and their teachers. My 2-D sculptures have also been used as a set for a dance performance at the Whitney Museum.
I am represented by Viridian Gallery in New York City
“Sills takes us on a journey through art history with wit and humor.” Pensacola Museum of Art, 2004.
“… her groupings provide fresh insights and evoke quiet chuckles as she gently challenges our established beliefs about art history.” Vernita Nemec, 2005
“As with all of Sills’ delightful post-Pop takes of familiar figures from art history, encountering them out of context, blown up to … life-size, is like spotting one’s favorite movie stars on the street. They look just as good in person!” Ed McCormack, Gallery and Studio, 2003.