Artist Eric Anfinson’s paintings celebrate life by revealing a variety of its many and surprising layers, offering the viewer an intimate look at human forms that deftly explore emotional impact. Fans and newcomers alike will find much to celebrate and ponder in “Beautiful Life,” his newest upcoming exhibit at SALT Gallery on 830 Fleming Street, with a special preview on Saturday, March 4, from 6pm-8pm.
The exhibit will feature more than 20 new original works, ranging from 12×9 to 36×24 on Italian linen panel & canvas that showcase Anfinson’s distinct figurative style and his personal depth of feeling about the world around him. “An Early Fall,” the exhibit’s representational image, is a prime example. Inspired by the senseless loss of life at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016, it pictures a man in Central Park waiting for his love who will never return.
“The man sitting on the bench represents the partners, fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers who called their loved ones to discover there was no answer,” he says. “In this current climate, I feel it is vital to remind ourselves that beauty continues to exist. It is also important for us to be acutely aware that the choices we make based on who we listen to have far reaching and personal consequences. I choose love. I choose compassion. I choose inclusion.”
Anfinson has created hundreds of paintings in the last thirteen years, working to “make paintings that are both universal and personal,” he says. The figures he paints allow him to define an emotional moment in time and space while also exploring the visual sensualities of what is found during the process. Paintings in “A Beautiful Life” radiate with a sensual narrative that helps the subject come alive, whether it’s on a bench in Central Park, in a remote cottage garden, or in a room overlooking the Mediterranean Sea on a warm night.
Included in the exhibition are two distinct series of small figurative works where Anfinson has focused on the expressive female form. The first series, painted on white linen, explores the elements of air and earth, while the second delves into the darker and subconscious elements of emotion.
Anfinson says, “I’ve been experimenting on smaller canvases over the last few years and I’m excited to share the latest of these paintings in this exhibit.”
Regardless of the canvas size, Anfinson offers up an intimacy and immediacy the viewer cannot ignore.
“Just when you think you know the work of Eric Anfinson, he reveals new, startling, and complex layers in the personalities of his subjects,” says SALT Gallery owner Jeffrey Cardenas. “We think not only about these graphic representations but also about the artist—and about ourselves. “