July 2019: Denise Althea Graham

Denise Althea Graham’s current paintings in acrylic and graphite feature a series of moody women, who came out of a process of automatic drawing - just putting pencil to paper and seeing who emerges from my subconscious. “Their fiercely red eyes and lips began as an intuitive choice. Later I realized that the red refers to powerful emotions: women’s anger, power, anxiety, frustration, all of which are in constant play in women’s lives. I’m influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite portraits of women, the Sacred Feminine, and my studies in the histories of art and costumes.” A number of the portraits are framed by a checkered border, and anchored by a cartouche containing symbols borrowed from alchemy, nature, and art history, adding an air of mystery and contemplation.