I conceive of my works as mementos of remembered and imagined moments, mediated between illusion and abstraction. The marks that make up each piece accrue slowly over time. I layer my materials to build up surfaces that suggest naturalistic rhythms and depth of field without forfeiting the flattened physicality of graphite and paint on paper and board. One of the ways that I aim both to link and to distinguish the illusive and abstract elements of the images is to create pictorial breaks within their compositions. These breaks are meant to function as conceptual and physical boundaries which address the structures of the art objects while simultaneously standing in as credible imitations of restrictive forms in the world: window grids, viewfinders’ edges, or fleeting moments of illumination in the dark, which offer glimpses of substance constrained by the limits of light’s periphery. Likewise, the boundary that is the worked and re-worked surface of the art object itself should be fixed but permeable, lending a subdued density to the picture plane while suggesting an impression of atmosphere. I use a muted palette so that the pictures are dampened, like worlds seen through a screen or veil. I like to imagine that these images could be backdrops for some elusive narrative. They might be settings for unwritten ghost stories. They are speculative places, reflecting – but never beholden to – the particularities of true portrayals.
Alice Valenti was born in Baltimore, Maryland, where she currently lives and works. She received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her MA from Drexel University and her MFA from Towson University. Valenti has received an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant for young artists. She has exhibited her work nationally, in states including Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island and New York.