Jonathan Ferrara Gallery

Anastasia Pelias ||| Destiny is Destiny (sing my song)

400A Julia Street

February 27, 2019 - April 12, 2019

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Ferrara Gallery

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Ferrara Gallery

Press Release

JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY proudly presents Destiny Is Destiny (sing my song), the latest solo exhibition of Anastasia Pelias unveiling nine new paintings and four new sculptures. The paintings draw inspiration from her previous series, Sisters, which employs music to influence gesture in each composition. Rather than depicting the musicians themselves in works on paper, these new abstract portraits capture the artist’s family members on canvas. Additionally, the eclectic group of sculptures includes one four-foot tall, limestone concrete piece entitled “Lil’ Mama”, which is a half-size version of a work commissioned and currently installed at the McNay Museum of Art in San Antonio. The exhibition will be on view from 27 February through 12 April 2019 with Arts District New Orleans’ (ADNO) First Saturday Gallery Opening on 6 April from 5 - 9 pm.

The artist expands on the exhibition . . .
My new body of work, consisting of nine large-scale oil and oil stick paintings on canvas, and five medium sized objects made of wood, concrete, steel and slate, is titled Destiny is Destiny (sing my song). The title is a combination of a quote from Maria Callas and a phrase from “Ramble On” by Led Zeppelin. My interest in these sentiments is profound, addressing the idea that we all must try to live our lives as we desire while accepting that destiny and fate play a significant role in determining the inevitable. In my painting process, I use music specific to each subject as a conduit that allows me to open a channel between myself and the subjects of the paintings: my sisters, my brother, my daughters, my goddaughter. I consider the paintings to be portraits, some of them dealing with the dynamics within a family, but all of them dealing with the human experience – sometimes joyful, sometimes tragic. I am interested in exploring both the essence of the subjects and also my connection to them. In the sculpture, I look to Greek mythology, to my ancestors, and to my preoccupation with the intricacies of human relationships to inform the objects. I am attracted to salvaged materials that already embody their own history and that have a sense of vulnerability about them. Organic materials that lend themselves to being transformed. The ancient Greek concept about destiny and fate and the impossibility of subverting fate drive this work, as well as the concept of finding purpose in a turbulent and complicated world. I realize that there are some things in this life which we will never understand.

Έτσι είναι η ζωή
(So is life)

Anastasia Pelias was born in New Orleans, LA to Greek parents. Her artistic practice is rooted in the dual cultural identity of both her native and ancestral roots in New Orleans, LA and Skopelos, Greece. Blending the vibrant, compassionate nature of a New Orleanian with her weighty Greek heritage, Pelias creates work that is rich with personal depth of emotion and the spirit of exploration. Through a nuanced interpretation of paint, color, marks and ritual objects, Pelias unapologetically explores the overarching subjects of life, death, love, sex and the female experience. An abstractionist in the truest form, Pelias’ work reflects a seriousness and dedication to the traditional principles of painting – both the concept and the actuality.

Pelias received her BFA from the Newcomb College of Tulane University in 1981 and her MFA from the University of New Orleans in 1996. She has exhibited her work in 16 solo and numerous group exhibitions at venues nationwide, including Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, Heriard-Cimino Gallery, the Pensacola Museum of Art, the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, American University (Washington D.C.), Proteus Gowanus (Brooklyn, NY) and the Louisiana State University Museum of Art, and has been featured in publications including Pelican Bomb, Hyperallergic, New American Paintings, New Orleans Art Review and Louisianaesthetic. Her works appear in public collections at the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Mobile Museum of Art, Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital (Commack, NY,) and in private collections throughout the United States and worldwide, in England, Belgium, Greece, Saudi Arabia and China.


For more information, press or sales inquiries please contact the gallery director Matthew Weldon Showman at 504.343.6827 or matthew@jonathanferraragallery.com. Please join the conversation with JFG on Facebook (@JonathanFerraraGallery), Twitter (@JFerraraGallery), and Instagram (@JonathanFerraraGallery) via the hashtags:  #AnastasiaPelias, #JonathanFerraraGallery and #ArtsDistrictNewOrleans.

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