Whether the subject matter is figuration or nature, I approach all my subjects directly and unabashedly.
Considering myself primarily a feminist artist, painting other women, most of my work focuses on the human face, figures, animals and nature. I prefer direct observation, and I work very rapidly. And, as with all my paintings since 1990, in my quest to discover and reveal what is most essential, the figuration works are painted almost exclusively with my non-dominant left hand.
Even though recognizable as trees, I consider the birch works to be process oriented abstractions. Every painting or drawing in this series is an opportunity to be experimental, even playful, as I lay down the paint or mixed-media materials on canvas, paper, glass, or Mylar. With figurative elements, and dense repetitions, these are the forests of childhood fairytales, where one is hopelessly lost. And yet there remains a suggestion of the endless continuity and power of renewal in nature.
A curator, gallery owner/director, educator and arts advocate, Audrey Frank Anastasi is, above all else, a prolific, tireless and dedicated working artist. She has an extensive history of exhibiting her artwork and has been featured in many publications.
In 1990, Ms. Anastasi abandoned the facility of working with her right hand, in order to begin painting afresh with her non-dominant left hand. Accepting this new struggle enabled her to work intuitively, respect the spontaneity of the paint stroke, and to redirect her attention to the soul of the subject matter. She says, "The imagery and narrative content I choose to depict has always been my main concern; I haven't particularly stressed my 'handedness,' right or left, when exhibiting my work. I've always felt that the work should speak for itself.” Recent works, like the drawings in this publication, were created using both hands, intermixing passages of detailed description with intuitive markings.
Critic Sarah Schmerler writes, “Her subject matter focuses on figures, depicted naturalistically and full length, either in domestic or fantastical, dreamscape settings. Rough hewn but the more sincere for it, they seem to demand our attention. They want to tell us eternal messages beyond speech, of ineffable places of the heart and mind.”
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised in south Florida from the age of twelve, Ms. Anastasi attended the University of Miami on full tuition academic scholarship, where she graduated Magna cum Laude. Audrey moved to Brooklyn, New York, to attend Pratt Institute, and earned her Master's Degree in Fine Arts. From 1985 until 1994, she taught figure drawing, portfolio development, and anatomy for artists at Parsons School of Design.
Audrey Anastasi has been featured in Smart Money Magazine, the Lenny Lopate Show (aka: New York & Company) on National Public Radio (NPR), Brooklyn Savvy TV, the New York Times, New York Daily News, amNY, Pratt Folio, Jewish Week, the arts & entertainment supplements of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (InBrooklyn) and the Brooklyn Courier (24/7), Artworld Digest, Zeek (an online magazine of Jewish culture), Brooklyn Fine Arts (BFA) magazine and On the Issues Magazine.com, The Tablet, BREUCKELEN magazine, ArtVoices, and the New York Observer.
Audrey Anastasi and her husband Joseph are Co-Founders and Directors of Tabla Rasa Gallery, 224 48 Street, the first art gallery in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. They were honored by the Brooklyn Arts Council in November 2008 for their pioneering work and for their dedication to supporting fellow artists. Audrey has been a member of the Brooklyn Arts Council’s Board of Directors since 2001. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Dance Theatre Etcetera (DTEtc.org) and was President of the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC.org), the largest artist-run, visual arts nonprofit organization in Brooklyn from 1999 to 2004.