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Reflection on Contemporary Society
Heidi Zito, a New York-based oil artist, creates a gorgeously fragmented marriage of abstraction and realism in what she refers to as a “meditation on predicaments caused by modern capitalism and the pursuit of success and happiness.” Painted on wooden panels, these sumptuously layered and deeply introspective visuals create the perfect amount of discord in the viewer’s eyes, to invite them evocatively inwards.
Zito is currently represented by Georges Berges Gallery in NYC and attributes her depth of scope and values to her varied childhood. “My mother is Japanese and my father is Italian American – I think growing up between the United States and Japan has shaped me as an artist.” Art has always been a part of Zito’s “every day”, making its way into everything she does. “I have been an artist for as long as I can remember – drawing with anything I could and, on any surface I could find”. Always finding expression in “modifying and distorting moments or scenes” has birthed the uniquely juxtaposed surreal air to her works.
In 2005, Zito attended Florida State University, where she studied Fine Arts, which is where she explored oil painting as a medium. Experimenting with new materials and being taken under the wing of a few “great and nurturing teachers” surged Heidi’s skill forward. So much so that she continued on to achieve a Master’s Degree at the School of Visual Arts in New York, which gave her exposure to the NYC art scene.
“My work creates vivid, impassioned depictions of fragmented subjects, rendered with layers of deep color and expressive gesture. I combine abstraction with figurative rendering in a multi-layer process that expresses the conflict and inconsistencies between mind, body and public persona.”
Drawing inspiration from a variety of sources, Zito creates her vivid and “impassioned depictions of fragmented subjects”, rendering layers of deep color and expressive gesture in a multi-layer process, where portraiture meets smudged, chaotic blur and realism meets abstracted suggestion. She will often revisit her paintings many times “adding, manipulating, and blending gestures to capture the complexity and depth of the human psyche.” Zito seems rooted in making her process as complex, ineffable and gorgeously mysterious as the human mind, which is so difficult to conceptualize even to the psychiatrist.
Heidi Zito’s visuals offer a clearer insight into the turmoil of emotional tug-o-war than any psychology dissertation. “As humans, our true thoughts, desires, and emotions are often guarded and buried behind our carefully crafted and curated exteriors. I want viewers to consider and explore the marginal space, the incongruous gap that alters our desires and tempers our actions to align with societal expectations and norms.”