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By Sharon Gittleman
Well-written words are as exciting as a perfectly-placed brush stroke to artist Angela Giorgio. You’ll see the effect of both in Giorgio’s abstract works inspired by the plays penned by William Shakespeare, which will be shown at 4731 Gallery in Detroit this September.
“What excites me about Shakespeare is not only how vivid his imagination was but that he had the ability to tell a complete tale that could be acted out on stage,” said Giorgio. “His language is romantic. I do have a strong love for stories.”
Giorgio began reading Shakespeare’s plays after she inherited a library full of books left to her by her great uncle a dozen years ago.
“Ever since then I’ve been a fan,” she said.
Each of the massive oil paintings in the series represents one drama, including Hamlet, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet.
“I tried to evoke the feelings of the play in my abstract brushwork,” she said. “I’ve taken ten quotes directly from the play. Those words are intermingled within on the canvas.”
The paintings are a change from Giorgio’s customary work, which is creating illustrations, murals and mixed media designs.
“I specialize in wall murals,” she said.
Painting murals and single canvases require very different approaches, Giorgio said. Murals are meticulously thought out and executed in steps and can take weeks to complete.
“The client has specifically in their mind what they want and what it looks like. When you have something 20 feet long by 5 feet high there’s a lot of detail,” she said. “Whereas, when I do my fine art, I come up with an idea in my head about a subject matter, I’ll stretch and gesso a canvas and then a day or two later, I will then come in in the mindset to do the painting.”
Giorgio said works on her paintings from four to eight hours the first day, with more to come later in smaller increments of time.
Being gay hasn’t had a strong effect on her art.
“I’ve always been very open. I’m not the type of person who likes to stand on a soapbox and change things,” she said. “I came from a very open minded family who told me to try for my dream. I never felt I had to prove myself to anyone.”