Caroline Otis Heffron begins her painting process by taking photographs of urban workers, street performers, and people reacting to life in public spaces. Whether in New York, Europe, piazzas or flea markets the juxtapositions of humans, statues, the classic, and grotesque are in constant interplay. A process of combining and repositioning images begins in the studio in order to create new connections. The psychological and sensual are discovered through unconscious gestures, expression and curvilinear ornamentation. Heffron has been pursuing her painting and ceramics after graduating with her MFA from School of Visual Arts. Heffron’s paintings have been shown at Kent State University, Long Island University, and La Mama La Galleria among others.
My art process begins with my photographs that focus on sensuality, cultural history and human emotions. I document contemporary and historical cultural objects and figures in complex urban public spaces. These images are the sources for my paintings which feel like theatrical tableaus in multilayered dreams. The oil paintings highlight the seductive movements of bodies and emotional states discovered in unconscious body language. My use of complementary combinations are combative and delusional making everyday subjects disorientating. This confusion of space and color allows room for the viewer’s interpretations within the urban environments that are the backdrop for people’s small moments. People sell objects, hold prizes, dance and walk in a connected choreography where the cacophonous power play of modern and ancient cultural symbols collide.
The works on paper focus on dark and light man-made worlds that allude black and white cinematography, film noir and the hierarchy of social status. Black and white tonality equalizes time and space. I explore how ink and water allow for fluid edges and transparent layering.