Shauna Finn, "Unfetter"
oil on linen, 60" x 48", 2014
Ethereal and elegant are words that aptly describe the works of New York-based artist Shauna Finn. Her work explores a subject matter that is both immediately recognizable and mysteriously vague at the same time. Looking at one of Finn's paintings is to look through a gauzy veil into a intimate and enigmatic scene of female figures adorned in satiny fabrics and shimmering lights, whose purpose or intention remains ambiguous. It is in this "ethereal atmosphere" that Finn's women are bathed in a "curious radiance"
Though Finn has her models pose in her wedding dress (saying that she felt it deserved more than one wearing), the exact role these women play in her work can be interpreted in many different ways. Are these women, bathed in a "curious radiance," brides? ghosts? witches or a fairy-tale princesses? “My intent is to leave questions of narrative unanswered, in hopes that the images resonate differently to each viewer, and meaning is interpreted in unique ways.”
The paintings have a magic, to be sure, one that is reflected in Finn's honed technical training and ability. “Light and its ability to evoke mood or mystery is a constant thread in my work. In my paintings, I use enigmatic light to depict otherworldly figures and animals, while exploring the magic of oil paint itself. I am drawn to materials that facilitate this exploration; thick strokes of iridescent oil paint and shifting color are transformed into shimmering feathers or luminous fur. Light travels through layers of translucent paint film to represent flesh or diaphanous veils.”
"The paintings can be seen in part as a musing on beauty as the object of longing; the urge to paint often coming from a desire to re-create luminous sparkly things, in an attempt to possess the beauty of them." -Shauna Finn
Shauna Finn, "Study 1 &2"
oil on panel, 14" x 11"
Shauna Finn's collection can be viewed at: