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Shara Hughes, born in Atlanta in 1981, lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, recieved a Joan Mitchell Fellowship to attend Vermont Studio Center, and attended Anderson Ranch artist residency. Solo exhibitions include Marlborough Chelsea, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta; Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta; American Contemporary, New York; Rivington Arms, New York; Museum 52, London; Metroquadro, Rivoli; and Galerie Mikael Anderson, Copenhagen. She has participated in group exhibitions at Jack Hanley Gallery, New York; Romer Young Gallery, San Francisco; Coburn Projects, London; Salon 94, New York; Gredier Contemporary, Zurich; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, among others.
Shara Hughes’ work draws you in to look longer and investigate deeper on what is going on in each painting. Each piece is loaded with layers of colorful combinations of paint and a variety of marks making up the abstract imagery of figures, portraits, and objects which are all loosely based on Hughes’ life. What is also interesting to see in conjunction with Hughes’ paintings, are her stacks of crayon drawings which feel very much “finished” and complete in their own way. Hughes uses her drawings on paper to make “formal decisions” in a more immediate and less precious way and to inform her as she paints.
F: How do you come up with the imagery? Can you walk us through your process?
SH: The imagery is all based on what is happening in my life, but I never know where it’s going to go when I start. I start very abstractly with some kind of wash background and begin to pull out shapes formally. The painting begins to take a life of it’s own and eventually some kind of story comes out of where it’s going and pulls it down to a solid idea. This may...