Stephanie Danforth is one of Eisenhauer Gallery’s beloved island artists. Having taken her first art class her senior year in college and a smattering of classes thereon, Danforth cultivated her artistic ability through years of primarily independent learning. In 2000, she stepped away from her job as a pediatric nurse to pursue painting full time and never looked back.
When asked about her style Danforth says that it “mimics my own personality and who I am as Stephanie. I like to get in close with people and I’m drawn to that. The real close-up stuff, not superficial.” This close-up personality is reflected in her almost photorealistic photos. Her still life paintings stand out with their bright colors and distinctive larger than life style. The highly detailed and careful images bring a sense of truth that only comes from the master craftsmanship of the pieces. In her collection in Eisenhauer Gallery’s Curve show, warm pink and purple poppies blossom into large displays that are enveloped in 23k gold leaf. Beyond aesthetics, the artist sees this work as a statement on the divine feminine and as a call for balance in a chaotic world.
Flowers have historically been feminine symbols, and thus the use of poppies is very appropriate for this series as a realization of the divine feminine. The traditionally female pinks and reds burst across the canvas and create warm, soothing feelings that are reminiscent of motherhood. This is then wrapped in lustrous gold foil, which elevates the poppies from the world of the mundane and into something spiritual. Texturally, the grid like pattern of the gold foil contrasts with the organic curves of the flowers, thus heightening the emotional intensity of the pieces. The golden backgrounds are reminiscent of depictions of halos in Byzantine mosaics and any number of spiritual plinths. The paintings then update that memory for contemporary aesthetics.
The gold and the poppies come together to declare the series as a call for feminine balance in a masculine world. Danforth’s series is one that is both aesthetically beautiful and philosophically important. Her participation Curve is an exquisite contribution alongside paintings from T.S. Harris and Jylian Gustlin on Thursday, August 9th.
Written By Alyk Russell Kenlan
Interview conducted on August 5, 2018