Conceptual realist working with paint and fabric
Growing up outside of Boston, Danielle Festa was always drawn to creating art. After high school, she decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. During her four years at the University, she explored her creativity, honed her skills, and became the artist she is today. It was there she first explored the constructs developed by clothing.
After graduating, she returned to Boston to continue painting. She has been working out of her studio alongside artists at the Washington Street Art Center since 2009. Nearby Union Square has been a great location for her to gain ground as an emerging artist and has proven to be a great place to find subjects for her work.
First with a camera, then with oil paint and fabric, I define the personas of my subjects as they are perceived by onlookers. I let the material embrace and overwhelm the characters I create as they become preserved in their attire. I have been continually inspired to tell tales of entrapment, showing how fabric has the power to dictate our personalities in an instant. By incorporating an unexpected element of cloth, I am calling attention to the ability of a specific article to define my subject’s identity.
In each painting, I experiment with the transition between paint and fabric, allowing my subjects to transform into the characters I create. I like for viewers to enter through the comfort of realism, and then allow the distraction of material to lead them towards my concept. Avoiding blatant conceptual announcements, I prefer for viewers to experience the journey of their own interpretation of my vision. I want onlookers to experience the independent choices, the religious mandates and the social constructs that influence both what we wear and how we view others.