“Perhaps that is what artists strive for, the creation of a fictional world more compelling than the one we call ‘real’. Art objects are edited and condensed versions of experience.”
-Gregory Amenoff in a review of Sara Pedigo’s work in 2007
My work explores the notion, that the very nature of painting is based, to some extent, in the creation of fictional realties. With this statement as a starting point, I use photographic references to create representational paintings that edit, embellish and alter existing information to create new images. My paintings use coloration, mark and texture to create worlds that are both out of the ordinary and based in the familiar. These painted images can mix timelines, create hybrid places, and allow moments to exist that could not happen otherwise.. Painterly marks create visual noise that overlap foreground and background information and promote the sense of an altered atmosphere. My childhood can become part of my mothers’ or grandmothers’; our lives become fluid and are allowed to mix through the act of painting.
My interest in making these works comes from a desire to extend the relationships that I feel when viewing photographs of my family. Photography and death are often linked with one another, and my artwork further explores this association. The author David Eagleman describes death as occurring in three stages: “The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.” These paintings attempt to delay that final moment by visually “speaking” the names of those relatives and their lives again. The resulting works create enigmatic moments that are formed by constructing new possibilities for events, and often individuals, that have ceased to exist. My incessant need to prolong these lives through painting is in no doubt related to the loss of my parents. However, it can also be related to a growing cultural interest in ancestry and the pull to feel a connection with the past even if it is based in fiction.
Sara Pedigo is a painter living and working in Saint Augustine, Florida. Pedigo spent her childhood in South Carolina and Florida. Her paintings and drawings are most associated with figurative realism that captures moments of her family’s history and southern environment. She is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant and has exhibited throughout the United States. Most notably, she was included in the 2006 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and in exhibitions at the Cue Foundation, the Affordable Art Fair in New York City, and the Naples Art Museum. Pedigo received her Master of Fine Art from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Flagler College, her undergraduate alma mater.