Arianna Tamaddon is featured artist at Art Ventures in Menlo Park
Editor’s note: We first profiled Arianna Tamaddon in January when two of her paintings were selected as part of the DeYoung Open. Her next goal was to have a solo show in the area. Here’s an update.
Art has, since the beginning of time, been a community joy; a harmonious network of artists, collaborators, admirers, clients, educators, and students existing comfortably in shared physical spaces. Art has often relied on gathering, in-person viewing, direct physical contact and live purchasing. How does art happen when people can’t be together?
Arianna Tamaddon, a photorealistic oil painter raised in Menlo Park, recalls anxiety over how she would show her work to buyers, whether anyone would be able to purchase her art, and how she would navigate a mass closing of art galleries.
Arianna credits social media for maintaining an accessible platform with which to reach potential buyers and admirers; with this opportunity, she changed the way she presented her art. She even took to social media to share behind-the-scenes visual clips, providing glimpses of her artistic process. She noticed a silver lining arising with people being restricted to their homes; people were forced to look at their immediate space, sometimes sparsely decorated, and how it made them feel.
People sought to remedy their bare walls, their outdated prints, or for more inspiring work that currently aligned with their style and station in life. Through these channels and as a product of these circumstances, she was able to sell her art and maintain her livelihood amidst very limiting restrictions. Arianna has demonstrated inspiring competence and will in adapting to the outlets and opportunities available to her in order to keep her work profitable, but beyond that, she used the challenges presented by the pandemic as a catalyst for growth. She was called to question who she wanted to be as an artist, and what she wanted her art to convey; for those reasons, she stepped away from commissioning custom pieces and committed to her own style.
Arianna’s work is currently on display at Art Ventures Gallery (888 Santa Cruz Avenue) in Menlo Park in a show titled Covet: Trophies in an Age of Artifice through May 31. A reception for the artist will take place on May 15 at 3:00 pm.
When asked what inspired the art being shown and what she loves about it, Arianna shared the following sentiment: “Social media undoubtedly helped my sales and general exposure. However, as I leaned deeper into these platforms, I became more exposed to both augmented female forms and the artifice of curated voyeurism. My work has always been rooted in exploring themes of womanhood, femininity, and power, so this deeper look into filters and impossible beauty standards proved itself a natural next step.
“I was inspired by this emerging digital ideal of beauty, as it’s raised many questions for me about how our society positions its stance on beauty, power in sexuality, and feminine agency. These have driven the exploration I’ve had with my work as well as the conversation I hope it will spark for others experiencing it. What I love most about this series is its ability to culminate a wide range of subject matter into a single, unifying theme of modern womanhood.”
Photos of Arianna by Brianna Caldwell (c) 2021; painting by Arianna Tamaddon