PPOW Gallery in New York is currently showing several monumental oil paintings and intimate watercolors by Angela Fraleigh in the exhibition and i would shine in answer being without becoming until July 3, 2008. Fraleigh received her B.A. from Boston University in 1998 and her M.F.A. from Yale University in 2003. She currently lives and works in Bethlehem, PA and Brooklyn, NY.
Fraleigh’s oil paintings depict struggles between couples in intimate relationships, thereby addressing the universal themes of power and gender. Her large-scale compositions focus on the realistically rendered faces and hands of her figures, which are surrounded by layers of beautifully applied swirling and dripping paint. This method simultaneously reveals and conceals the encounter occurring amidst the paint, a visual tease that enhances the sexual and physical tension between the figures. In her compositions, it is difficult to distinguish violence from lust. The strong glances of the female protagonists could easily express all-consuming desire or furious terror. This ambiguity is heightened by the alluring tactility of the paint’s surface.
Fraleigh’s command of her medium can be seen in the easy transitions from extreme realism to elegant abstraction. Due to the size of her compositions, we are immediately thrust into these salacious scenarios, being at once voyeurs and participants in this greater dialogue of gender and identity.