“Slander” Grace Netanya
Colored Pencil and marker
Statement: Sugary-sweet and unnaturally bright colors represent the feelings of disassociation we can experience around childhood trauma. Childhood is often idealized and there can be immense pressure to deny the lasting effects of abuse. "Slander" illustrates the overwhelming feeling of isolation a child can feel while being gaslighted. There is a persistent taboo against portraying the effects of violence on children. Unfortunately, by avoiding this topic we erase the evidence of evil that cannot be voiced by the victims themselves.
Grace Netanya is an artist and storyteller whose art combines contemporary and traditional ideas to create an art fusion that is both Avant-Garde and introspective.
At a very young age, Grace taught herself to draw in order to communicate stories and characters from her imagination. A childhood of homeschooling in Florida provided her with the time and isolation to become engrossed in her imagination, and today she is interested in pulling the magical and surreal out of the ordinary and banal.
Grace is interested in putting unique spins on existing styles and finding new ways to push a medium past the conceived limit. She prefers to use mixed-media techniques with ink, graphite, colored pencils and acrylics. However, she loves to discover new mediums and is constantly expanding her repertoire.
Grace’s unique combination of colorful fantasy and realism has caught the eyes of the art world both at home and internationally. She has participated in multiple exhibits with The Colored Pencil Society. She has won The Copic Award Grand Prize 2019 with her work, The Explorer. She has recently won a third-place prize in the 2020 American Art Awards with her work, The Secret Garden. The same work also won Best of Show in the R.G Endres 2020 State of the Arts Competition.
Her work has been displayed in publications such as Infected by Art, and at local museums such as MOAS.
Like a dream, my works resemble real-life, but with distortion around the aspects that may be difficult for the mind to confront. As with an ancient fairy-tail, a "fantasy" story allows the viewer to process a difficult yet relevant topic in a way that is both honest and entertaining. I am especially interested in discussing the experiences of children. This goes along well with my idea of “visual mythology”, as stories are often used to instill lessons and ideas in children when a more literal explanation may not make sense to them. Children often use imagination in order to fill in the gaps of their understanding. By depicting the fantastical interacting with reality, I illustrate what is in a sense, a more accurate example of a child’s experience.
I draw freehand, observing my references. As the “reality” of my work begins to emerge, I switch focus away from my references and put my imagination down on paper. As I build up the layers of my work, the fantastical elements become more colorful, often slightly textured or reflective, depending on what materials I have chosen. The end result is an image that draws from the tradition of representational art and morphs it into an exploration of the mysterious and intangible.