About the Book
Alison Van Pelt is an American painter trained in L.A. and Florence, Italy; a contemporary artist whose work is informed by expressionism, minimalism and pop art. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she attended UCLA, Otis, and Art Center, Pasadena. She came of age in the 1970s and her distinctive photorealist painting style is evocative of that era, when photography was assimilated into the art world by such painters as Richard Estes, Denis Peterson, Audrey Flack and Chuck Close. Van Pelt begins with a drawing on the canvas and, as she references a photograph, paints a detailed portrait entirely by hand, obscuring the carefully rendered image by building and deconstructing the paint with brushes. From a distance the image appears soft, as though photographed through a mist. But, as the viewer approaches the work, vertical lines can be seen, and on closer inspection a sort of horizontal weave emerges. With an interest in ambiguity, she combines hyper-realism with contemporary abstraction.