by Amanda Marie
Drawing upon illustrations and characters reminiscent of yesteryear’s iconic children’s books, Marie’s trademark style gives an immediate feeling of nostalgia, an ‘I Know That From Somewhere’ feeling. The storybook like imagery is an invitation for viewing the allegorical and highly painterly compositions . Signature in her work is the use of children and young adults as imagery tools to deliver clever messages that straddle the line between comforting and spooky.
The narrative power of her very graphic style invites viewers to experience the work in a familiar storybook fashion, in which she can then deliver message like, ‘How we prepare(ed) ourselves for the adult world’, or ‘Survival Techniques for Life Phases’. Her work is inviting to a very wide audience regardless of age, interest, or heritage. From lawyers to hipsters, doctors, mothers, designers, or collectors, her work appeals.
Along with Swoon and AIKO, Amanda Marie is among the very best women working in the important genre of Stencilism, and her visual language is as rich and graphically powerful as any of her peers.
With Marie, it is refreshing to see graphic stencils (cutout devices to reproduce and apply graphic imagery or text) which are not the overtly violent or super sexual images that might have originally attracted audiences to the genre. As stencil painting matures Amanda Marie’s work is keeping pace with an evolving and discerning eye.
Thematically, a regular comparison from the fine art world is Henry Darger, but Amanda Marie is also heavily influenced by classic ‘golden book’ era illustrators like Eloise Wilken, Tibor Gergely and Leonard Weisgard. Marie’s paintings use a combination of mediums and techniques. In most works, some elements are screen printed, some are wheat pasted, and some elements are drawn out and then made into hand cut stencils and spray painted. There is also acrylic paint applied by brush and splatter techniques, and of course the trademark use of vintage sewing patterns is present in many of her paintings. The complex use of multiple techniques in each piece lends to the depth and subtlety of her work.